(GMM) A Ferrari race seat would have been "too much responsibility" for Antonio Giovinazzi.
Those are the words of team boss Mattia Binotto, as he explained why 25-year-old Carlos Sainz – a driver developed by Red Bull – has been chosen to be Charles Leclerc's 2021 teammate.
25-year-old Italian Giovinazzi, on the other hand, is the top Ferrari development academy driver, and currently races with Ferrari support at Alfa Romeo.
"Antonio is a boy who I respect a lot," Binotto told Sky Sport Italia.
"Last year he did his first season in Formula 1, so I think to go to Ferrari after a year is too much responsibility.
"We count on his development and will help him with that of course. It's part of our plans, but he still has to collect experience in Formula 1," he added.
Former Ferrari driver Mika Salo agrees that Giovinazzi lacks experience and confidence. "That's why they got Sainz instead. That's the only reason," he told MTV.
"But you do have to wonder why they have a junior program if they don't take the drivers from there," Salo added.
"He pushed Kimi, but nothing more than that," he said, referring to Giovinazzi. "He's been waiting for a place at Ferrari so this is slightly strange, but Sainz will do the job just fine."
Meanwhile, Binotto revealed that Ferrari will look into racing in Indycar in order to protect the jobs endangered by a lower than expected F1 budget cap from 2021.
"As Ferrari we feel strong social responsibility towards our employees and we care about their future, which is why we are also looking at other alternatives besides Formula 1, like Indycar for example," he said.