Frederic Vasseur has had Theo Pourchaire on his radar for some time, and now he could even get a place at Alfa Romeo in 2022.
After the young Frenchman was allowed to test the Alfa Romeo car at the Hungarian GP, Vasseur seemed convinced by him. The team, led by Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, is yet to confirm its grid for next year.
“Considering for next year, I don’t know, but I’m considering Theo!
“I don’t know if it’s for next year or for the future, but Theo is part of the family, part of the Academy. We are spending a lot of energy on Theo because we are convinced that Theo is one of the best ones for the future. And now I don’t know if it will be 2022, ’23, ’24 but I’m convinced that he, at one stage, will be one of the best ones.”
The background to the test at the Hungaroring is that Vasseur wants to give young drivers like Pourchaire a chance to improve their skills in other areas of development.
“Yeah, it went pretty well. We decided to give one day to Theo and it was the plan. He did a fantastic start of the season, he did a fantastic job in Monaco.
“But we don’t have to rush the situation. It was also for him to have the test of the technical side of F1. Just about not just about driving, but to give him the opportunity to work with the team and to understand a little bit more about technique.
“He’s doing some simulation days in Hinwil and it makes sense to have a contact with the reality because, if you want to compare, you need to know exactly what is the reality.
“I think he did a good job. It’s never easy because you start the day [being told] ‘You’re not allowed to crash’ and don’t remember this. And then, at the end ‘OK, you have to push more!’. We have to keep in mind the target was to give him experience, to give him the feeling of the car and the test went very well.”
However, according to Vasseur, we still have to wait for an announcement of the driver lineup for 2022. It remains unclear whether Raikkonen will continue to drive and what the situation is with Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi. For Vasseur, however, the tests have had no impact on Pourchaire’s future.
“I did not want to be impressed by the test. The target of this was to give him experience,” he explained.
“You know that when you are alone on track, you never know about the lap time, about the speed of the track and so the most important for me is to do a good day, to improve all over the day and to have a good understanding of what you are doing in the car, to stay calm and, on all these points he did a good job. But now the most important for him was not the test day, the most important for him is the F2.
“It’s like a domino. I need to discuss with Kimi to know exactly what we want to do together. Soon. Don’t worry, soon.”