Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, would prefer to have an experienced line-up for the 2022 Formula 1 season rather than bringing in a rookie, meaning a promotion to the team for the likes of Nyck de Vries or Callum Ilott is unlikely.
Alfa Romeo will have at least one new driver for next season after Kimi Räikkönen announced that 2021 will be his last in the sport, with Valtteri Bottas odds-on to replace his countryman as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team are expected to bring in George Russell at his expense.
Rumours around the paddock say that Antonio Giovinazzi’s position within the team is also under threat, and Red Bull Racing’s reserve driver Alexander Albon has been touted as his replacement, although the Anglo-Thai driver is also under consideration to replace Russell at Williams Racing.
With new aerodynamic regulations coming in for the 2022 season, Vasseur feels there will be more benefit for Alfa Romeo to have two experienced drivers behind the wheel, although he has not ruled out the team fielding a driver with limited Formula 1 experience.
“I’m not sure that the change of regulation has something to do with this,” said Vasseur to Motorsport.com. “I would say that it’s probably more the limited number of test days. We have to consider the point between the others in the driver choice.
“I’m much more concerned about the number of these days when you’re speaking about a rookie, because you have six, or eight days if you consider the end of season test days.
“It means that it’s three per driver with the new car. You could imagine also reliability issues, or bad weather conditions as we had two years ago, or even in Bahrain. We have to we have to consider all these points.
“But even this when you’re choosing a driver, I want to have a mid-term contract. You don’t have to be focused just on the first two events, but you need to have a mid-term deal.”