Giovinazzi set for Friday drives in 2017

New Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi could be set for some Friday practice outings with Sauber or Haas in 2017.

The great Italian marque has signed the young Italian GP2 star to be its official third driver next year.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "We are talking to our (engine) customers so that Antonio can drive on several Fridays."

But the 23-year-old himself said he is actually most looking forward to driving a Ferrari for the first time.

"I still can't picture it," Giovinazzi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I think it will only be real when I really put on the red suit and sit for the first time in the car."

His 2017 role will involve attending the grands prix next year, and being ready to substitute for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen if necessary.

"I have not met them, but working next to two world champions will be a fantastic experience," said Giovinazzi.

"Next year will mainly be about gaining experience, paying attention to every detail and growing as a driver."

La Gazzetta indicated that a Friday role with the Ferrari customer Sauber is most likely for Giovinazzi, even though talks are still taking place.

Giovinazzi, meanwhile, said he owes a lot to Ricardo Gelael, the boss of Indonesia's KFC empire who is reportedly now looking towards F1 for the future.

"It's true, without him nothing would have been possible," Giovinazzi admitted. "I would have stayed a kart driver. But I was sent to be a tutor of his son, we became friends, and since then he has always supported me."

(GMM)

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