Raikkonen's experience reminds Giovinazzi of his final F3 season
|By Adam Cooper and Valentin Khorounzhiy||Saturday, April 20th 2019, 12:02 GMT|
Antonio Giovinazzi says his experienced Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen reminds him of his own final season in European Formula 3 in 2015.
Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, joined Alfa Romeo from Ferrari on a two-year deal, and is currently contesting his 17th season in grand prix racing, while Giovinazzi's prior F1 record comprised two races as stand-in for Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber.
The 23-year-old Italian admits Raikkonen's experience means he has the edge at the start of every given race weekend, but feels this is "something normal".
"Of course he is a fantastic driver with a lot experience," Giovinazzi said of Raikkonen.
"He knows already what he wants before the race weekend, so this is something really good to see, but it's just experience in the end.
"I see like me, when I was in F3 the last year, the rookie drivers compared to me they were struggling beginning of the weekend.
But [it's] something normal, I think every sport you find the same, when you find the best and with the most experienced athlete you just feel less ready than him, but it's something normal, I think."
Giovinazzi, who finished runner-up to current IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist in European F3 in 2015, was one of the six drivers racing for Carlin that season.
Along with Tatiana Calderon, he had the most experience within the championship among the Carlin roster, which featured three rookies in Ryan Tveter, Callum Ilott and new Williams F1 recruit George Russell.
Giovinazzi has trailed Raikkonen in the first three grands prix of the 2019 F1 campaign, as the Finn put 12 points on the board to leave Alfa Romeo fifth in the constructors' standings.
"I think I say this already in the beginning of the season, for the team to have Kimi is something really good, just to improve the team and grow up really fast - and [this] is what we are doing and what the team is doing," said Giovinazzi, with a best result of 11th in Bahrain so far in 2019.
"Now I need from my side to try to be close to him, try to get a lot of points for the team, and I think we can have a good season together."
"We need just a clear weekend but I'm sure the car is there, we have a good package, we need just put all together and I think we can have good result."