“Antonio Giovinazzi making a return to Formula 1?”: Ferrari academy driver is reportedly the favorite to replace Nikita Mazepin if he’s dropped by Haas

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published 28/02/2022

With Nikita Mazepin’s Haas future in serious doubt, former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi is reportedly the favorite to replace him. 

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week, Haas made the decision to remove all Uralkali and Russian branding from their team. It’s also probable that the fertilizer company owned by Dimitri Mazepin, won’t be a part of the F1 team anymore.

If Uralkali aren’t sponsoring Haas, it put’s Nikita Mazepin’s future in doubt. Many speculate that the only reason he was in the team was because of his father sponsoring the American team.

Haas are expected to come to a decision regarding Uralkali and Mazepin’s future in the sport this week. However, at last week’s pre-season testing, team principal Guenther Steiner admitted that removing both was a real possibility.

This opens the door for a driver seat in F1, as Haas would want to come to a quick solution before next month’s testing in Bahrain. Steiner revealed that Pietro Fittipaldi would be the number 1 choice in case Mazepin leaves.

The Brazilian has been a part of the team for four seasons now. He’s been the outfit’s test and reserve driver for quite a while, so Steiner feels that he’ll fit right in.

Also read: Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko does not see Lewis Hamilton continuing at a high level for much longer

Antonio Giovinazzi is being heavily considered to be Mazepin’s replacement at Haas

Fittipaldi took part in the last two races of the 2020 season for Haas, after Romain Grosjean’s infamous crash in Bahrain ruled him out. Therefore, it’s fair to say that the 25-year old has some F1 experience under his belt.

However, a much more experienced figure is also in Haas’ shortlist for Mazepin’s potential replacement. Ferrari academy driver Antonio Giovinazzi is the driver who’s in serious contention for the spot.

Haas work closely with Ferrari, and Italian company supply them with the power units they use. The Scuderia would want to use these ties to help their academy star land an F1 seat.

Giovinazzi drove for Alfa Romeo from 2019-2021. After the culmination of the last campaign, his contract wasn’t renewed and he left F1 to drive for Dragon-Penske racing in Formula-E.

After the 28-year old’s departure from the sport, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insisted that Giovinazzi would still be a valued member within the team. He also stated that they would help him land a seat in F1, if an opportunity arose.

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About the author
Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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