Alfa Romeo Sauber’s test and reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will make his first F1 race weekend outing in over eight months after being handed a first free practice session outing at the German Grand Prix.

After finishing runner-up in GP2 in 2016, the Ferrari junior has spent the past two years primarily as a test and reserve driver at the Italian manufacturer and both its customer teams Haas and Sauber.

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Having been retained by Ferrari for 2018, the 24-year-old has acted as Sauber’s test and reserve driver this year, while he also made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut with AF Corse Ferrari finishing fifth in the GTE-Pro class alongside co-drivers Toni Vilander and Pipo Derani, and will make his F1 comeback at Hockenheim.

Giovinazzi will drive Marcus Ericsson’s Ferrari-powered C37 for FP1 ahead of the German GP, marking his F1 race weekend participation since completing FP1 for Haas at the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Italian’s last F1 outing was testing for both Sauber and Ferrari at the in-season Circuit de Catalunya test in May.

The Italian driver stood in for Pascal Wehrlein when he missed the opening two rounds of the 2017 Formula 1 season due to injury, finishing his F1 debut in 12th place in Australia before crashing out of the Chinese race.

Italy has not had a full-time driver on the F1 grid since 2011 with Jarno Trulli (Lotus) and Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT).

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