Yesterday was a big day for Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi who was received by Pope Francis before a general audience at the Vatican.

As Giovinazzi offered his helmet to Pope Francis, His Holiness reminded the driver of the importance of sport for youth.

“It was a strong and emotional experience because having the opportunity to get to know the Pope personally and be able to talk to him is something indescribable,” said the 26-year-old driver.

“We talked about the importance of sport for young people as it represents a fitness centre not only for the body but also for the mind, and about the importance of growing up with solid values.”

Giovinazzi was accompanied in Rome by Sauber Holding AG president Pascal Picci and several executives from Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo Racing will launch its 2020 car and season in the Barcelona pitlane on February 19, the first day of pre-season testing.

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