Giovinazzi to wear Ferrari red in China

Antonio Giovinazzi says he will be back in red gear when he returns to the F1 paddock in two weeks.

Ferrari's new reserve driver got a shock call-up to the race grid in Australia, when Sauber's Mercedes-backed main driver Pascal Wehrlein pulled out with apparent fitness concerns.

Giovinazzi, a standout in GP2 last year, was widely hailed for his performance.

"It was a perfect weekend because an Italian driver was back in F1 and Ferrari returned to winning," he told the Italian broadcaster Sky in Melbourne.

Giovinazzi, 23, admitted that although Wehrlein pulled out due to a lack of training, he too suffered with fitness issues in Australia.

"Physically it was tough," he said, "especially my neck in the closing laps. It takes practice because cornering in F1 is completely different.

"In two weeks I will be in China dressed in red. Then we'll see."

Indeed, German Wehrlein has said he is determined to be fully fit for Shanghai, even if there are rumours political influences could see Giovinazzi back in the Sauber soon.

"Antonio has a good future," A Ferrari insider is quoted by Speed Week.

"His talent is obvious -- everyone at Ferrari and Sauber can see it. Now we have to observe whether Wehrlein is fit for China and Bahrain. If not, Giovinazzi is there.

"And then it's clear -- if Kimi Raikkonen is not interested in 2018 or Ferrari wants to invest in youth, then Antonio will take his place," the insider added.

(GMM)

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