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Giovinazzi sees Ferrari role as a small step for Italian drivers

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Italy, the country that gave F1 its greatest team and so many great champions, is missing not having a driver at the pinnacle of motorsport, says Ferrari hopeful Antonio Giovinazzi.

The 23-year-old is doing his part to try to correct that deficit, having been nominated as the Scuderia's official reserve driver for 2017.

The last Italians to contest a F1 Grand Prix are Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi who lined up on the grid of the 2011 Brazilian GP.

"I think yeah, we miss Italian drivers," Giovinazzi explained in Barcelona last week.

"But this is already one small step," he acknowledged.

Last year's GP2 runner-up ran in pre-season testing in Barcelona at the end of last month, replacing Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein who was sidelined with a back injury.

By all accounts, Giovinazzi acquitted himself well for his first full-scale experience of driving a 2017 F1 car. But he still needs to take another step before he embodies the hopes of an entire nation.

"Now I'm third driver, I'm here in the official F1 tests. It's a really good point. Then I just need to work really hard. Of course for every driver the target is to drive in F1.

"I know the situation is really difficult in Italy, but yeah, I will do everything to arrive in my target as soon as possible."

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