Alfa Romeo has confirmed that Antonio Giovinazzi will remain with the squad for the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, the Italian made his full time debut in the championship this year on a one-year deal.
After a sluggish start to the campaign, he scored his first points in Austria and has more latterly begun to match his world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
“I am very happy to be staying with the team for 2020,” said Giovinazzi.
“I am grateful for the incredible level of support I received in my first full season in Formula 1: everyone in the team has stuck by my side since I joined and I am really looking forward to continuing our journey together.
“We learned a lot this year and I am confident we can make a big step forward next season.
“I won’t be a rookie anymore so there won’t be any excuses for me: I want to be competitive right from the start of the championship and repay the confidence the team has shown in me.”
Team principal Frederic Vasseur added: “Antonio has done really well this year and I am extremely pleased to be able to confirm he will stay with Alfa Romeo Racing for 2020.
“The way he has integrated into the team and has consistently improved throughout his first full season in the sport are very promising and we cannot wait to unlock his full potential as we continue to work together.
“Antonio has emerged as a very quick driver, even alongside as tough a benchmark as Kimi, and we expect him to develop even further as his experience grows.
“His technical feedback, work ethics and positive approach will help us continue to push our team forward, and so will the consistency of an unchanged line-up for next season.”
Giovinazzi’s seat had been one of those touted as a possible location for Nico Hulkenberg, who is out of a drive after Renault signed Esteban Ocon for 2020.
However due to team’s commercial relationship with Ferrari, with the Alfa Romeo title being a branding exercise on the Sauber team, the Scuderia had first refusal over the use of the seat.
Confirmation of Giovinazzi almost completes the 2020 F1 grid, with only Williams, Red Bull, and Toro Rosso to confirm their plans.
It’s expected Williams will promote reserve driver Nicholas Latifi into the seat currently occupied by Robert Kubica, while Red Bull and Toro Rosso are likely to retain their current line-ups.