Antonio Giovinazzi says he is happy with how his recent performances have stacked up against Alfa Romeo Formula 1 teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Giovinazzi initially struggled to match his more experienced teammate, who joined the Swiss squad after leaving Ferrari at the end of last season, but has enjoyed improved showings ahead of the summer break, particularly in qualifying.

The Italian scored his first point of the season in Austria and followed it up with another top 10 appearance in Germany, only to drop down the order when both Alfa Romeo cars were handed post-race penalties.

“It’s not easy, already if you miss 2 years without racing,” Giovinazzi said.

“In the end I did only two races in 17 and then in 18 only one race, Le Mans, completely different from here, then come back to F1, the best of motorsport, is not really easy.

“But like I said at the beginning of the season I knew already my target was improving race by race, take that feeling back, and this is what I’m doing.

“I started struggling a bit more, but in these last few races the pace is there compared to Kimi so I need to be happy with my performance.

“I can tell you still really good, still really motivated and really strong,” he added.

“What he did in Hockenheim in qualifying he put purple sector in sector two, he’s pushing hard, and for me it’s better, I have a strong team-mate and a good reference for me.

“It’s a positive thing for me if he’s still motivated and pushing hard.”

Giovinazzi acknowledged his struggles at the beginning of the campaign but highlighted Paul Ricard as the start of his recent turnaround and improved form.

“It’s been difficult, we could have achieved little bit more, better results, more points, but it’s racing and nothing you can do.

“But otherwise I think from Paul Ricard when we stated to have new updates, new things, the car was better and better, Silverstone we were close, Hockenheim again we are fast, we need to be positive, soon everything will turn and the luck will be on our side, a lot better.

Asked to rate his season out of 10, the Italian replied: “It’s difficult to say. I think performance is there, speed is there, points is not there, for many things, it’s difficult for me to give a vote.

“I need to focus on the present and future, I want us to keep pushing like that and try to give the maximum for the team.”

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