Alfa Romeo could resume Formula 1 driver collaboration with Ferrari in the future
A Ferrari junior is not at Alfa Romeo in 2022, but team boss Frederic Vasseur has not ruled out using Scuderia-affiliated drivers again in the future.
Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes to join the team on a multi-year deal from this season, with former Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou coming in to partner the Finn in what will be his rookie Formula 1 campaign.
Having had Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc at the Hinwil team in recent years, both of them Ferrari junior products, there had been a working arrangement between the teams since their engine supply deal was confirmed in 2018.
But despite having had this relationship in the past, Vasseur insisted Alfa Romeo will be looking at each individual on their merits if a Ferrari development driver is to come to the team again one day, now his team have the freedom to decide who drives for them.
“It’s not because we decided to go for another option that we won’t have the possibility to work with Ferrari again in the future,” Vasseur said to Autosport.
“It has to be on a case-by-case basis because the driver collaboration, you can’t plan for the next 10 years [and say] ‘okay, the next 10 years you will get a rookie’.
“Ferrari don’t need to have a driver [graduate to F1] every single year.
“Also, because at the entry of the pipe, they don’t have a driver every single year.
“We need to work on a case-by-case basis and that is completely understood with both parties.”
Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire will be the team’s reserve driver in 2022, with Vasseur having said it is currently “too risky” to promote the French teenager to Formula 1, and he will compete in Formula 2 instead alongside his testing duties with Alfa Romeo.
Ferrari’s junior drivers will be elsewhere in 2022, with Mick Schumacher combining his Haas racing with being the Scuderia’s stand-in driver if needed, while Robert Shwartzman will be their full-time test driver and could appear for the team at their two mandatory young driver free practice sessions during the season.
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