RACE DEBRIEF

    Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur says his team are working hard to find a “solution” to get Formula 2 star Theo Pourchaire an FP1 session at some point this year, although he admits scheduling issues have made it “difficult” so far this season.

    Under the 2022 rules, it is mandatory for all the teams to give an FP1 outing to a junior driver on at least two occasions this season. And with Pourchaire – a member of the Sauber Academy – currently third in the F2 championship standings, there has been an expectation that the young French driver would be given an FP1 outing at some point this season.

    READ MORE: Norris says he understands 'certain parts' of Ricciardo's struggles with McLaren in 2022

    “We will find an FP1 [session] because it's per regulation that you have to give an FP1 to the rookie,” said Vasseur. “But when we discuss about it, if you consider when you have the F2 races, we have some events with the Sprint races, we will have some events with tyre testing.

    “And you can’t imagine [giving] the rookie session to Singapore, even Suzuka will be difficult, even if I think that Max [Verstappen] did it a couple of years ago. You don't have so many races until the end, but we'll find the solution, don’t worry – by regulation, it’s mandatory.”

    2021-In-Season-Test---Hungary---Day-2.jpg
    Pourchaire tested for Alfa Romeo in Hungary last year

    From one young driver to another, Vasseur was also asked about the performances of driver Zhou Guanyu. And the Alfa Romeo boss heaped praised on the rookie’s start to the season, saying that Zhou had outperformed their initial targets for him, while labelling him as the “perfect choice” for the seat in 2022.

    “The first target was to get to Q2, I think he was in Q2 in race one, he scored points in race one, and then now after mid-season let’s say, he has been able to do Q3 two times in a row, he was even out-qualifying Valtteri [Bottas],” Vasseur said.

    RISE OF THE ROOKIE: How Mika Hakkinen went from humble Helsinki beginnings to become F1’s Flying Finn

    “He scored points again in Montreal, and we had some issues with the reliability, but he would have been able to score points two or three times before. I am more than pleased with the results, I am more than pleased with the behaviour of Zhou out of the car with us, and I think it was the perfect choice.”

    Alfa Romeo are sixth in the championship, 30 points behind Alpine, ahead of the 2022 French Grand Prix.