Antonio Giovinazzi will enjoy his latest Formula 1 practice run-out with the Alfa Romeo Sauber team on Friday at the Sochi Autodrom ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

Ferrari junior driver Giovinazzi has already featured for Sauber in two practice sessions and two in-season tests so far this year, with his duties for the Swiss team being his primary commitments through the 2018 season.

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Starting in Germany, Giovinazzi was confirmed to have a handful of FP1 run-outs planned with Sauber for the remainder of the season, with his latest appearance set to come this Friday in Russia, as made official by the team on Monday. 

Giovinazzi will take over from Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber C37 for opening practice in Sochi, continuing his development as he bids to secure a full-time race seat for 2019.

Sauber has one vacant seat for next year, having confirmed Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen as Charles Leclerc’s replacement. Leclerc is moving in the opposite direction to Ferrari for 2019 to partner Sebastian Vettel.

Giovinazzi made two race starts for Sauber in 2017 in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein, but has since not featured in F1 races.

The race for the second seat at Sauber looks to be between Giovinazzi and Ericsson, with the latter enjoying ties to the team’s owners.

Sauber chief Frederic Vasseur claimed earlier this month that the team would make a call on the second seat “quite soon”, saying it would be “good for the team to have a clear answer.”

Giovinazzi has not enjoyed a full racing programme since 2016, when he finished runner-up to Pierre Gasly in GP2, and has so far only appeared in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Ferrari-backed AF Corse team in 2018.

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