This week, Alfa Romeo confirmed the departure of Antonio Giovinazzi at the end of the 2021 season and the arrival of Guanyu Zhou, one of the main players in the Formula 2 peloton. For this seat, the Chinese driver was in particular in competition with Oscar Piastri, leader of the ranking in the Formula 1 antechamber, and Théo Pourchaire which, unlike its two rivals, forges close ties with Alfa Romeo. The Frenchman is in fact a member of the Sauber Junior Team, a development program of the Swiss structure managing the F1 team.
If he has already explained why Zhou was the ideal candidate to support Valtteri Bottas, Frédéric Vasseur had not yet said anything about the non-selection of Pourchaire. The team director finally spoke about it at a press conference in Qatar, specifying that the rapid rise of the French driver (who went from Formula 4 to Formula 2 in less than two years) was enough to convince him to do so. repeat in 2022.
« Theo will stay in F2, we had a long discussion a few weeks ago », Vasseur said. “For his first year in F2 he had an incredible season. But we have to keep in mind that 18 months ago he was racing in F4 and that the gap between F4 and F3 was immense. beautiful things in F3, the same in F2. He won in Monaco this season but a car [de F1] is very complex and we only have six test days before the start of the season. In my opinion, it would have been too risky and too ambitious to take this step now. It is better to focus on the F2 championship next year, we will see for the future. «
Vasseur nevertheless stressed that Pourchaire’s field of action in 2022 would not be strictly limited to F2. Although he has been given the mission to win the championship and the 40 license points that go with it, the Frenchman will also have the opportunity to race in F1, whether as part of a Grand Prix weekend or in outside.
« He’s sure he’ll do some FP1s », assured Vasseur. « We will do a few days of testing and try to prepare it for the future. But when you race in F2, the most important thing is to win the championship, not to prepare for the future or something like that. . I’m going to ask him to be champion in F2. «