While Valtteri Bottas will replace Kimi Räikkönen next season, the Alfa Romeo Racing team have not yet decided on the name of their second driver. Frédéric Vasseur assures that he has not yet made his decision despite a substantial list of candidates.
Will the Alfa Romeo Racing team leave with a renewed driver duo in 2022? While Kimi Räikkönen decided to end her career at the end of the season, the Hinwil-based team convinced Valtteri Bottas to join them to replace their compatriot. As for the name of his future teammate, » everything is open »Assured in an interview with Motorsport.com Frédéric Vasseur, director of the stable. A statement that also applies to the current owner of the second bucket, the Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who supported the Alfa Romeo Racing motorcyclist, Ferrari. « He does a good job, adds the French leader. But I think being able to recruit and welcome Valtteri is a huge opportunity for us. It doesn’t matter if the teammate is a rookie or an experienced rider, we will benefit from Valtteri’s experience and speed. Many names circulate around the Swiss team.
Giovinazzi still in the running for Vasseur
We find in this list Théo Pourchaire, current member of the Sauber Academy, but also the Chinese Guanyu Zhou, the Dutchman Nyck de Vries and the Thai Alex Albon. However, each of these three drivers is currently linked to another engine manufacturer, respectively Alpine, Mercedes and Red Bull.. In this regard, Frédéric Vasseur assures us that he will not make « any comment as to who is on the list or not » but admits that » for some of them, it seems a little difficult because of the link they have with engine manufacturers « . Highlighting the close links between his team and Ferrari, the boss of Alfa Romeo Racing ensures that » it seems difficult to find this kind of agreement, even impossible « . A situation which could then revive Antonio Giovinazzi, who will have to do better than Zandvoort if he wants to keep his seat. » Regarding Antonio, we will see on the next two or three Grands Prix », Assures Frédéric Vasseur.
Raikkönen as a luxury consultant?
If he is currently looking for solutions for the second bucket, Frédéric Vasseur would not take a dim view of keeping Kimi Räikkönen in the management of his team. “I think I saw that he was already the subject of several proposals but I think we have to let things fall. We will then have plenty of time to discuss what we could do together in the future., adds the boss of the Alfa Romeo Racing team in comments collected by Autosport. I’ll be more than happy to have Kimi by our side somewhere but I think he needs to take the time to think it over first.. The Finnish driver could potentially play a role of mentor for the titular drivers, like that held by Alexander Wurz or Jenson Button at Williams in previous seasons. This would be an opportunity for Kimi Räikkönen to share her rich experience of 20 years at the highest level.