Ferrari’s Antonio Giovinazzi says he is in the ‘right team at the right time’ as the team return to endurance racing at the 2023 World Endurance Championship.
The manufacturer returns to Le Mans 24 hours for its centenary for the first time since 1973, and will compete in the Hyperclass category among the likes of Toyota, Porsche and Cadillac, and driver Giovinazzi is thrilled to be a part of it.
Speaking exclusively to Eurosport, the Italian, whose background includes serving as a reserve and test driver in Formula One, revealed his excitement to be named for the program and his expectations for the campaign.
“A new challenge, a challenge for me, for the team, for Ferrari,” he said. “I’m really happy to join this championship with them. It will be a tough one for sure. We know there are some other teams about and cars that have been here a long time. So we need to focus on ourselves. But, you know, I’m really happy to start this new chapter of my career as well. And let’s see what we can do.
“Any time Ferrari join new categories, I think we will have always more pressure than the others. But yeah, we need to just take that pressure and work hard and try to do our best.
“An Italian in an Italian car like Ferrari is always quite emotional. I’ve been part of this family since 2017, so a long time now. But of course, I will deal with these colours and bring back the Ferrari after 50 years.”
He added: “The championship will have a lot of cars and a lot of manufacturers back in Le Mans. Everything looks really special. And I can wait to be in Le Mans, I was last there in 2018 in a different category but still with Ferrari. So now to join Hypercar in Le Mans, it will be super cool. And I can’t wait to be there.
“I’m really happy to be part of this team. For myself, I’m quite new in this championship. I need to just learn as much as I can from them and I think yeah, I’m in the right team at the right time.”
Giovinazzi’s career has seen him in Alfa Romeo and Hass cars as well as Ferrari.
He also competed in Formula E and Formula 3 but despite his experience behind the wheel, the 29-year-old admits endurance racing is a completely different affair.
“It’s a completely different type of mentality that you need to have,” he says. “You need to share the car with another two drivers, it is a long race. It will be around eight hours so everything can happen. You will never give up after one hour. Everything is going, maybe not great but it’s still changing.
“The first thing is the temperature inside the cockpit,” he adds. “That is quite hot inside. The traffic for me will be the main issue because you find the GT cars, LMP2 cars for every lap and to manage these will be really tough.
“So let’s see in FP1, FP2 with this when all the cars are on the track, and then for sure the race will be another step, more difficult. But it’s part of this championship.”
“For this race, to be honest, I will be happy to finish eight hours without any issue on our car so this will be the main goal.
Then of course we are Ferrari, so we need to think about being fast and putting pressure to the fast guys. But like I say I think if we can finish eight hours without any issue, we will be in front and we will be in a good position.”
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