Antonio Giovinazzi is hopeful of picking up his maiden Formula 1 points in Bahrain, believing he just needs a clean weekend to break into the top 10.

Giovinazzi finished 15th in Australia after struggling with traffic before fighting back from a Q1 exit to take P11 last time out in Bahrain, narrowly missing out on the points.

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The Italian heads into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix eager to enjoy an issue-free weekend with Alfa Romeo, having seen teammate Kimi Raikkonen pick up points in both races so far this season.

“I think in Melbourne we had a good qualifying, especially in Q1. I was there on top, and then in Q2 I had an issue and I didn’t put it altogether,” Giovinazzi explained.

“And then in the race, after 300 metres, my car was just not good with damage from the [frong wing] piece of Ricciardo.

“And in Bahrain the opposite: in qualifying I was for half a tenth possible to go to Q2 but it didn’t happen, and then in the race I think the pace was really good. For one position and maybe without the Safety Car in the end, I could have been in the points.

“I need just a clean weekend. Also in Bahrain, we had an issue in FP2 where it was the best session to see our potential, and we didn’t make [the most of it], so we just need a clean weekend.

“I’m sure the car is there. We have a good package, we just need to put it altogether and I’m sure we can have a good result.”

This weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix sees Giovinazzi return to the site of his most recent F1 start prior to the 2019 season, where he endured a difficult weekend that saw him twice crash out on the main straight for Sauber in 2017.

It proved to be Giovinazzi’s last Sauber start in a two-race stint standing in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein.

Giovinazzi joked that questions about his last China start were inevitable, but stressed he was in a far better position this time around.

“At that moment, I had a different and a more difficult situation,” Giovinazzi said.

“I had the Melbourne weekend where I jumped in just on Saturday, and then here I missed also Friday, so it was a different situation. I didn’t know the team quite well, it was not my car, so now I’m more confident.

“I did two years as a third driver, so a lot of simulator time and a lot of tests with Ferrari, so yeah, I’m a different driver.

“I know what happened two years ago, but I need to just enjoy [this one] and try to make the best result for the team.”

Additional reporting by Michael Lamonato.

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