Alfa Romeo: "Too risky" to promote Pourchaire to F1 for 2022

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur believes it would have been “too risky” to promote Theo Pourchaire into Formula 1 for 2022, but is planning to give him FP1 appearances.

Alfa Romeo: "Too risky" to promote Pourchaire to F1 for 2022

Alfa Romeo announced earlier this week that it had signed Formula 2 title contender Guanyu Zhou for next season, partnering the incoming Valtteri Bottas.

It ended the hopes of Sauber junior Pourchaire - who also races in F2 and currently sits fifth in the championship in his rookie season - of making the leap up to F1 for next year.

Speaking on Friday in Qatar, Alfa Romeo team boss Vasseur confirmed that Pourchaire would be remaining in F2 next season.

“We had a long discussion the last couple of weeks,” Vasseur said.

“He did a fantastic season in F2 for the first one, but we have also to keep in mind that 18 months ago, he was in F4.

“The step between F4 and F3 was huge. Then he did well in F3, the same for the F2. He won this season in Monaco.

“But the car is so complex and we have just six test days before the season, it means that it could have been, from my point of view, too risky, too challenging to do the step now.

“It's much better to be focused on the championship in F2 next year, and we will see the future.”

Théo Pourchaire, Alfa Romeo

Théo Pourchaire, Alfa Romeo

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

Teams will be required to field a young driver for at least two practice sessions in 2022, opening the door for Pourchaire to make his F1 weekend debut.

The French youngster enjoyed his first F1 test with Alfa Romeo at a private test in August, but is set for further running next year alongside his F2 commitments.

“He will do for sure some FP1s, we will do some test days,” Vasseur said.

“We will try to prepare him for the future, but again, when you're doing the championship in F2, the most important is to win the championship and not to prepare the future or something like this.

“And I will ask him to be champion in F2.”

Read Also:

Zhou is currently in his third season in F2, lying second in the standings, and has already conducted F1 testing with Alpine as part of his place on its junior programme.

Asked by Autosport what qualities Zhou had shown to convince Alfa Romeo to sign him for next year, Vasseur felt his performance was “speaking for itself”.

“He is a frontrunner, he won this season in Bahrain and Silverstone,” Vasseur said.

“In F2, it’s probably the two most demanding tracks, Bahrain for tyre management and Silverstone, it’s with the high-speed corners.

“He did some pole positions, he’s always there, consistent, and I’m sure that he will do well next year.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 teams tell drivers to avoid hitting Qatar kerbs after practice damage
Previous article

F1 teams tell drivers to avoid hitting Qatar kerbs after practice damage

Next article

What's behind the FIA's change of focus on Qatar F1 track limits

What's behind the FIA's change of focus on Qatar F1 track limits
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022