(GMM) Antonio Giovinazzi has vowed to "never give up" in his quest to improve and succeed in Formula 1.
The Italian rookie immediately impressed when he stepped in at short notice at Sauber in 2017 for the then injured Pascal Wehrlein. But he also made waves by crashing in both qualifying and the race in China.
Backed by Ferrari, 25-year-old Giovinazzi sat out 2018 as a test driver, but has returned this year for his first full-time race season with Alfa Romeo.
However, of the ten teammate pairings in 2019, only Williams' Kubica and Giovinazzi – whose teammate is Kimi Raikkonen – are struggling so conspicuously.
Nevertheless, last weekend Giovinazzi was presented with the prestigious annual Lorenzo Bandini trophy. It has been won in the past by Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and other top drivers.
"The roll of honor is daunting. Receiving this award is a great honor but above all a great responsibility," Giovinazzi is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
Only Giovinazzi and the two Williams drivers are yet to score a single point in 2019. Raikkonen, Giovinazzi's teammate, has scored 13.
"We need to do better and show that we deserve to be part of it," Giovinazzi added.
"I have always believed that hard work is the only secret to achieving great goals and I am sure that this time it will not be any different."
Team physio Josef Leberer, famous for working with Ayrton Senna, told Blick newspaper that Giovinazzi "desperately needs a sense of achievement".
Giovinazzi insisted: "I never lose confidence. I know that we can do it as a team.
"Only those who do not fight have already lost, and we will never give up."