Second-placed Formula 2 Championship driver Guanyu Zhou (China) is the main candidate for second place in Alfa Romeo’s F1 team for 2022 while their test and reserve driver Robert Kubica is aware that he is not at the top of the list of candidates for next season.
Kubica has replaced Raikkonen in the last two races in the Netherlands and Italy, but he is aware that for next season he is not one of the favorites for the driving position alongside Valtteri Bottas who signed for Alfa Romeo after five years at Mercedes.
According to well-informed sources from Formula 1, the main favorite is Zhou, who is currently second in the Formula 2 championship, who is a member of Alpine's driving academy, and who would bring a significant amount of sponsorship money to the team.
“Zhou is doing a good job at F2, he’s certainly on the list,” said Alfa Romeo F1 team boss Frederic Vasseur. "But it's not just because he's Chinese, he's at the top of Formula 2. He won a few races and I think every Formula 1 team is watching him."
“But we also have the first four F2 races that went a little differently. Now they are returning to the tracks that are more standard. ” "The young guys in F2 have more experience and we will see after two or three races where we are and what the evolution of individual drivers in Formula 2 is."
Alfa Romeo’s junior, 18-year-old Theo Pourchaire who was second in F3 last year and is currently fifth in F2, is also on the list, but Vasseur suggested he should be given more time due to the limited time drivers can spend in an F1 car today.
“We need to give Theo time to improve, not just his speed because he already has it, but also education about all of this,” Vasseur said. "He was 17 until two months ago. Formula 1 is very complicated, we have a very limited number of test days.
” Kubica said it should never be said never, but is aware that some other drivers are more on the list of candidates, such as current Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi, Guanyu Zhou, and Theo Pourchaire. "I have learned in my life that anything can happen day by day, positively or negatively," Kubica said.
“So never say never. But realistically, I think some other drivers are probably more on the list. ” "I don't know, ask Fred."