Vasseur explains why Alfa Romeo Prefered Zhou over Pouchaire

Vasseur explains why Alfa Romeo Prefered Zhou over Pouchaire

Some speculated that Callum Ilott or Theo Pourchaire would be the candidates for the F1 seat but Alfa Romeo announced Guanyu Zhou.

There weren’t many empty seats available in Formula One at the end of the 2021 season. Aside from Mercedes, Williams, and Alfa Romeo, many teams chose to stick with their driver lineups.

George Russell was given a chance by Mercedes, and Alex Albon was given another opportunity in Formula One after failing to retain his Red Bull position. Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo’s lineup was entirely overhauled after Kimi Raikkönen withdrew from racing and Antonio Giovinazzi lost his seat with the team.

Alfa Romeo signed Valtteri Bottas after he was replaced by Russell at Mercedes. The finn was hired by the team to mentor Guanyu Zhou as he makes a debut in Formula 1.

Many people were startled by Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur’s choice, as many expected Callum Ilott or Theo Pourchaire to receive the F1 position.

In 2019, Zhou became the first Chinese full-time F1 driver, joining the Renault/Alpine team. During his time in Formula 2, he has shown excellent racing ability. This provided Alfa Romeo with some Chinese sponsors, which the team sorely needs if they are to raise enough funds to build a more competitive car in 2022.

Pourchaire, who was racing in Formula 4 at the time, joined the Sauber academy in 2019. He won the German title that year, paving the way for Formula 3. He joined Vasseur’s ART Grand Prix team and had a title race with Oscar Piastri, another promising Formula One driver.

He came in second place, three points behind Piastri, at the end of the season. Pourchaire was promoted to Formula 2 in 2021, and at the age of 17, he became the championship’s youngest pole-sitter and winner.

At the end of the season, Vasseur spoke about why he didn’t choose Pourchaire for 2022. He discussed what would be expected of him in Formula One and how, if given the opportunity, he must not fail since he will be easily tossed out of the championship.

“The situation is tough in F1, because when you start the season, you have six test days, three per driver. You could have the snow in Spain and the snad in Bahrain, and you could arrive to Bahrain with zero mileage,” Vasseur said.

“We have to consider all the aspects…You have to get it right. I had the discussion with someone yesterday. They are spending 14 years of their life with the only target to get in F1. “

“And it’s perfectly understandable, when you are in go-karts, when you are in Cadets, and they are 10 or 11, what is your target? To go in F1. But when you are close to F1 – I said myself, and I told Theo exactly the same – the target is not to do F1. The target is to do F1 in a good situation and to be successful.”

“This is a completely different story, because if you do F1 and then you are out after one year, it’s a big disaster.”

“But now you are close to F1, the target is to do well in it. To do well, you have to be well-prepared on the physical side, on the technical side, driving. You need to know the tracks. It’s such a complicated system. If something is missing, you are dead.”

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