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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Zhou favorite for second 2022 Alfa Romeo F1 seat

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Zhou’s tempo in F2 this season, allied to some wholesome backing from Chinese language sponsors, has left the 22-year-old Alpine Academy driver because the more than likely candidate to step up and race alongside new Alfa signing Valtteri Bottas in 2022.

Sources have advised {that a} deal is all however agreed, and now simply must be signed off.

Nevertheless, Vasseur insists that Alfa Romeo stays open minded about what it does for subsequent yr and needs a wait some time longer to see how the F2 campaign develops.

In addition to Zhou being on its radar, Vasseur additionally desires to verify on the progress of Sauber academy driver Theo Pourchaire.

Moreover, present Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi is hoping to earn a contemporary contract with some robust performances, having impressed in qualifying with Q3 appearances within the final two Grands Prix at Zandvoort and Monza. 

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PLUS: Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022’s F1 season?

Requested straight if Zhou was on Alfa Romeo’s shortlist, Vasseur mentioned: “Zhou is doing a great job in F2. For positive he’s on the record.

“Nevertheless it’s not solely as a consequence of the truth that he’s Chinese language, that he’s a frontrunner in F2. He received some races and I feel each single crew in F1 is taking care of him.

“However we now have the primary 4 occasions [of F2, that] went a bit totally different. Now they’re coming again to extra commonplace tracks.

“The younger guys in F2, they’ve extra expertise after which we’ll see in two or three occasions the place we’re and what’s the evolution of each single driver in F2.”

Podium: Race winner Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing, second place Guanyu Zhou, UNI-Virtuosi, third place Dan Ticktum, Carlin

Picture by: Components Motorsport Ltd

Zhou at the moment lies second within the F2 standings, having seen Oscar Piastri prolong his factors lead after his feature race victory at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Vasseur reckons that Alfa Romeo will wait till after the Sochi F2 spherical on 25-26 September earlier than making a name on its 2022 lineup.

Whereas F2 rookie Pourchaire has proven effectively this season, Vasseur has advised that his lack of expertise in F1 equipment, having solely accomplished one check in an {old} automotive on the Hungaroring final month, may very well be an element working in opposition to him.

“We have now to let to Theo the time to enhance, and to construct up not solely the tempo, as a result of that he has the velocity, however all of the schooling round this,” mentioned Vasseur.

“He was 17 two months in the past.

“F1 could be very difficult. We have now a really restricted variety of check days.

“Subsequent yr we now have a brand new automotive and we might have reliability points. It implies that we might arrive to Bahrain with a really low mileage and we now have to contemplate this additionally.

“For the drivers it is by no means simple, it is a problem, however we now have to provide them time for positive.”

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