Antonio Giovinazzi admits the 2021 Formula 1 season was “not the right time” for him to complete a dream move to Ferrari.

Giovinazzi found himself linked with a potential move to Ferrari when the Scuderia announced that Sebastian Vettel was leaving the team upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the year.

But Ferrari ultimately opted against promoting the Italian - who graduated from its driver academy - from Alfa Romeo and instead signed Carlos Sainz from McLaren on a two-year deal.

Giovinazzi said he was “really happy” to have been considered to replace Vettel but conceded the move would have come too soon for him.

“I'm still part of that family and I was really happy to have at least maybe the possibility to take that seat,” Giovinazzi told Sky’s F1 Vodcast.

“In my career I never had something easy, I always fight. And I think now was maybe not the right time after 23 Grand Prix. Last year I grew up really well during the year, but this year we haven't raced so it's really difficult for me.

"I'm still young so I'm sure if I continue like that and continue to fight, really work hard I can have that possibility.”

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said the seat came too soon for Giovinazzi but insisted the Italian remains part of its future plans.

Asked why he felt it was not the right time when Charles Leclerc made a similar step up after just one season in F1, Giovinazzi replied: “I know that Charles also had one season and then went to Ferrari straight away, but from my side, if we're looking back, we struggled also in the second part of the season with the car.

"So, also if I grew up like a driver, the result was not really there. But I'm still part of Ferrari and also what Mattia says, that they still follow me and follow especially on my career, it's something really great.

"I'm sure that still working with Alfa Romeo, still we can do a great result together and this is my main target for now because it's my team now.

"In the future we will see. I'm still a Ferrari driver so I'm sure I can maybe have the opportunity."

 

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