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Formula 1 runs out of Italians and welcomes its first Chinese driver

It is true that you do not have to go very far to find a Formula 1 World Championship grid without Italian drivers, especially because


It is true that you do not have to go very far to find a Formula 1 World Championship grid without Italian drivers, especially because after Jarno Trulli’s departure, the championship was without the tricolore present between 2012 and 2018, with some brief appearance of his own. Antonio Giovinazzi as a substitute driver at Sauber. The transalpine will say goodbye, at least for the moment, to the Grand Circus, when the checkered flag falls at the next Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after having participated in what in theory will be 63 races if we count the one in Qatar this weekend and Jeddah.

Giovinazzi, Ferrari Academy driver, will say goodbye in principle with fifth place in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix as the best result (as long as he does not improve it in the three remaining appointments) and will be the last piece to be changed in the future of Alfa Romeo and Sauber for the 2022 season after the final retirement of Kimi Räikkönen was recently announced.

Antonio Giovinazzi will leave his place to Zhou | Sauber Group

The Hinwil-based team announced a few weeks ago that they would count on the services of current Mercedes-AMG F1 driver Valtteri Bottas, winner of 10 Grands Prix with the signing of the star, who will be joined by Guanyu Chou, currently second-ranked in Formula 2 driver and driver who had so far been part of the Alpine / Renault young driver program. Although his performances have not been as remarkable as those of the leader of F2, Oscar Piastri, Zhou has been helped by the great interest that Formula 1 has in his country, China, and the great support in forms of sponsors that the structure can find there.

In this way, the Asian giant will have a full-time Formula 1 driver for the first time, after the presence of Ma Qing Hua, first with HRT and later with Caterham, never finished establishing itself. Perhaps the last bastion is to have an American driver on the grid, something that Michael Andretti tried when looking to buy the Sauber team and the arrival of Colton Herta, something that ultimately did not happen.

At this point, it should be noted how two of the great powers in terms of drivers, in turn two of the nations with the greatest love of motorsport, Italy and Brazil, will not have a driver in 2022 in the Great Circus. The retirements of Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella put an end to the previous generation of Italian pilots, as well as Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello, something that did not have continuity with their successors, with names like Giovinazzi or Felipe Nasr. When the latter was dropped from the program at the end of 2016, Brazil met the same statistic as Italy in 2012, running out of drivers on the grid for the first time since 1969.

There will be no Italian drivers on the grid in 2022

There will be no Italian drivers on the grid in 2022 | Sauber Group