REPORTS: ‘New Prost’ Theo Pourchaire a Candidate for 2022 Alfa Romeo F1 Seat

Published 08/03/2021, 3:01 PM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)


Teams have increasingly been scouting for younger drivers to replace their current drivers. One such example is Alfa Romeo. The team caused a stir as they let a Formula 2 Frenchman take their seat for testing at Hungaroring. Theo Pourchaire, a member of the Sauber Academy, will join the team for the 18-inch-tire test at the circuit.

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German F1 journalist and auto motor und sport’s Michael Schmidt revealed that the Alfa Romeo team holds Pourchaire in high regard. “There are people in the team who say he’s the new Prost. The question is whether they will promote him to F1 after just one year in F2.” The test on Wednesday will be the driver’s first experience in an F1 car.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 30, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in action during practice REUTERS/Florion Goga

As it is any single-seater driver’s goal, Pourchaire dreams of being in F1. However, the driver has plenty to learn before he shares the tracks with the big league. Schmidt adds that the driver still lacks super license points.

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On the other hand, Alfa Romeo may still look at an empty seat or two next season. “There are different ways to fill the seat. Ferrari could offer a lot of money to put Shwartzman in the seat. That would be a way to make Pourchaire wait for one year.”

Who is Theo Pourchaire?

The F2 driver rose to fame in his rookie season by becoming the championship’s youngest polesitter, race winner, and double-race winner. The Frenchman drove impressively at his debut in Monaco. He is currently 6th in the championship, racing for ART Grand Prix.

He recently incurred a broken arm in June, after a crash in Baku. Nonetheless, he succeeded in his qualifying race to compete at the British GP last month. The Sauber junior will step into the Alfa Romeo and share the track with Ferrari and McLaren to test the 2022 tires.

Fredrick Vasseur has his eyes on the driver, but doesn’t want to get him into F1 “too early.” Vasseur said, “We have a contract with Theo, but again I don’t want to be in a rush with Theo, we have to keep in mind that he is 17. He will have to do the job in F2 first, then we will have time to discuss later on.”

Who is Schwartzman, and why is he linked to Alfa Romeo?

Robert Schwartzman is an F2 driver for Prema and is another candidate for a potential Alfa Romeo seat. An impressive driver, the Russian stands third in the F2 championship. Another fearless driver determined to become an F1 racer.

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With Kimi’s seat potentially opening up next season, Alfa Romeo has many portfolios to choose from. An F2 prodigy along with Mick Schumacher, Shwartzman, has been associated with the Italian outfit for a while now.

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With the Ferrari Driver’s Academy pumping out pure talent, it will be a tough choice for filling a seat in the second team. Whoever gets the Alfa Romeo seat could hit the gold mine and make their way up to the red cars. Until then, speculations and rumors can continue to make their rounds of the F1 driver’s market.

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Shreya Sanjeev

323 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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