Frederic Vasseur is happy to give Antonio Giovinazzi time to prove himself at Alfa Romeo, saying there are no doubts about the Italian’s speed despite a difficult start to the Formula 1 season.

Giovinazzi landed his first full-time drive for more than two years when he signed for Alfa Romeo as Kimi Raikkonen’s 2019 teammate, but has struggled to match his teammate’s results, being outscored 31-3 through the first 14 rounds of the season.

Giovinazzi’s seat is one of only five yet to be confirmed for 2020, leading to speculation that Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg could be drafted in as a replacement after losing his seat with Renault.

Vasseur previously worked with Hulkenberg at ART Grand Prix in junior categories, and was instrumental in the signing of the German to Renault back in 2016, calling him a "perfect match" for the team at the time.

But when asked about any interest in Hulkenberg, Alfa Romeo F1 chief Vasseur stressed the focus lay entirely on Giovinazzi and his development through the remainder of the season.

“We are focused with Antonio,” Vasseur said. “Antonio had a very tough weekend in Spa but a strong recovery the week after in Monza. We want to help him to develop and continue to improve.

“It will be time to discuss about the future, but I am really focused on Antonio. I think he is doing, step-by-step, a good job.

“The speed is there for sure. He has been matching Kimi in qualy since the first race, and we have absolutely nothing to complain about the speed.

“I just want to score more points, but as does everybody.”

Vasseur said Alfa Romeo may opt to postpone making any final decision on the vacant seat until the end of the season, giving Giovinazzi plenty of time to develop and grow.

“It could make sense as we are not in a rush at all,” Vasseur said.

“It could make sense to postpone the decision, and have a look at Antonio and the improvement from Antonio.

“But honestly I think he is on a good way.”



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