The 2022 drivers market got underway with Kimi Raikkonen's farewell to Formula 1, which provoked a chain reaction, with Alfa Romeo announcing Valtteri Bottas in place of the other Finn, and Mercedes communicating, as has long been suspected, the arrival of George Russell.
Alfa Romeo is the only team to have a vacant seat in Formula 1. But even though Antonio Giovinazzi is working hard to be confirmed for next year by the Swiss team, offering good performances on Saturdays, his only point earned is not favorable to him.
According to the words of the team principal, Vasseur, Alfa Romeo is also evaluating Zhou as a candidate, as well as all the drivers in the top positions of the Formula 2 championship standings. With him, 30 million euros would also come from his sponsors, which they want at all costs to bring it into the most prestigious category of motorsport.
Asked if the Chinese driver might be a candidate for the second Alfa Romeo, Vasseur said as reported by Motorsport.com:
"Zhou is doing a good job in F2. For sure he is on the list.
“But it's not only due to the fact that he is Chinese, that he is a frontrunner in F2. He won some races and I think every single team in F1 is looking after him.
“But we have the first four events [of F2, that] went a bit different. Now they are coming back to more standard tracks. And the young guys in F2, they have more experience and then we will see in two or three events where we are and what is the evolution of every single driver in F2.”
Previously, the Alfa Romeo team principal ruled out the possibility of promoting Theo Pourchaire in Formula 1. Vasseur believes that hastening the arrival of the young and talented French driver in the Circus could be a mistake. But the two victories obtained during his first season in Formula 2 could change the cards on the table.
“We have to let to Theo the time to improve, and to build up not only the pace, because that he has the speed, but all the education around this,” said Vasseur.
“He was 17 two months ago. F1 is very complicated. We have a very limited number of test days. Next year we have a new car and we could have reliability issues. It means that we could arrive to Bahrain with a very low mileage and we have to consider this also.
“For the drivers it's never easy, it's a challenge, but we have to give them time for sure.”