Time and tide wait for none, more so when it comes to Formula 1. It’s the realm where things are often changing and changing, most of the times, for the better. And while the attention of the intrepid fan, one who keeps beers stocked in fridge even for free practice not just for the race-day cancelling all important things around, rests with the top teams, it doesn’t signify that the midfielders or evolving teams don’t adapt to change.
Things changing at Alfa Romeo!
Look at Alfa Romeo, for instance, especially in the current world championship. While reports such as Fred Vasseur, team principal and one of the most respected F1 personalities, was spotted in the Mercedes hospitality no fewer than ten times, could be a mix of harmless visits plus paddock grapevine, what isn’t, however, is the fact that the Swiss-Italian team are making visible steps to prop up change.
So how’s that? First, Callum Illott, one of the most captivating racing talents among all, was given a practice drive at this year’s Portuguese Grand Prix, having already become the team’s reserve driver, there’s another young man who, it appears, is rising through the ranks.
Who is Theo Pourchaire?
The Grasse-born racing talent of a venerable pedigree, Theo Pourchaire, all of 17, has become the latest driver to have completed a success test with an Alfa Romeo at the Hungaroring, the venue of the most recent Formula 1 Grand Prix.
And it was just hours ago, that the smiling young Frenchman got a first taste of F1, having done the 2022-bound 18-inch tyre test.
Currently competing in the FIA F2 world championship, the avid youngster turned heads this season by becoming the youngest pole-sitter and race-winner in the championship’s history, achieving a dazzling feat in his rookie season.
At Monaco, he became the talking point of the famous principality by going blazingly fast, trumping the likes of Israel’s Roy Nisssany and Estonian Juri Vips in the process.
Upon completing the Alfa Romeo test, Pourchaire exclaimed, “It was a dream come true moment!”
Well, a huge moment for any youngster, an incredible one especially when it comes at the behest of being part of one of the most iconic marquees of the sport. The winners of the Constructor championship in the sport’s inaugural season, 1950, followed by another brilliant win the following year, Alfa Romeo are as intertwined in the sport as is the great blue whale to the ocean.
Currently a member of the ART Grand Prix outfit, with whom he’s already made fifteen (15) entries, which have yielded a race win, one podium and a fastest lap along with two poles, Theo Pourchaire is among the many rising and exciting talents whose final destination, it seems, is Formula 1.
The following inputs were taken from a report published on the official F1 website in line with the exciting talent’s debut test with the Hinwill-based outfit:
Formula 2 racer and 2020 F3 runner-up Theo Pourchaire enjoyed what he called an “unforgettable” day at the hands of the 2019 Alfa Romeo C38, as the exciting teenager completed a private test at the Hungaroring on Wednesday.
As McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari tallied a total of 523 laps in the 2022 Pirelli 18-inch tyre test (the equivalent of more than seven Grands Prix), Alfa used the track time to field the 17-year old Sauber Junior driver, who has taken one race win so far in F2 this season.
That being said, among the several questions that need an answering from the end of the famous Ferrari-powered outfit include- what might be the line-up at Alfa Romeo in 2022?
With rumours taking mega speed surrounding the end of the road for Kimi Raikkonen, the team’s most recent point-scorer and one who, in his quintessential unfazed nature admitted about having not thought about 2022 as yet, many are believing Bottas to be brought to the side should Raikkonen end his Formula 1 run.
But should that actually happen, what are the chances of Alfa Romeo keeping Antonio Giovinazzi, another product of the famous Ferrari Driver Academy, and one who was responsible for scoring the first points for the team this year at the Monaco Grand Prix even before the sport’s most experienced driver, Raikkonen, could open his account?
Will one get to see Bottas drive alongside one among Pourchaire and Illott in 2022, or will it be Giovinazzi alongside Valtteri with Pourchaire becoming the main reserve driver for the next season? Or if not, will Vasseur continue with Gio-Rai pair, one that’s been at the helm of affairs on the track since 2019 F1 season?
We shall have to wait and see.