“The car is too complex in Formula 1”: Alfa Romeo boss reveals why he chose Guanyu Zhou over Theo Pourchaire

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published January 15, 2022

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur feels that signing Theo Pourchaire would have been a huge gamble due to the latter’s inexperience. 

Pourchaire was one of the biggest success stories of F2 last season. He won the feature race in Monaco at the age of just 17, and caught the eye of several figures in the F1 paddock.

He ended the season on 5th with 140 points to his name, and was linked to a F1 move ahead of the 2022 season. One of the teams that were rumored to express interest in him was Alfa Romeo Racing. Of course, in the end they decided to go ahead with Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, but team principal Frederic Vasseur admitted that they considered signing the young Frenchman.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/TPourchaire/status/1470300468190629889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

In the end they opted not to, because of Pourchaire’s relative inexperience in the sport. According to Vasseur, F1 cars are way too ‘complex’ and one needs enough practice before competing in a season full time.

“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 would 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 and we will see the future.” the 53-year old said.

Also read: Toto Wolff gives out an update on whether or not Lewis Hamilton will return to F1 in 2022

Pourchaire likely to take part in practice sessions for Alfa Romeo in 2022

One of the opportunities Pourchaire is likely to get is the chance to take part in FP1 sessions this year. The Alfa Romeo chief thinks that the 18-year old did a good job with ART in F2 last year, but had little racing experience prior to that.

“He did a fantastic debut season in F2. But we have also to keep in mind that 18 months ago he was in F4. That the step between F4 and F3 was huge,” Vasseur continued.

“Theo will for sure do some FP1. We will do some test days that we will try to prepare him for the future.”

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/alfaromeoracing/status/1479428404151783427?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

“But again, when you are doing the championship in F2, the most important thing 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.”

The Hinwil based outfit chose to sign Guanyu Zhou over Pourchaire in 2022. With a completely new line-up, and investment from Zhou’s Chinese sponsors, Alfa Romeo will be looking forward to making major strides in the coming season.

Also read: Honda boss claims Japanese manufacturer left Formula 1 too early

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About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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