Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has explained that the team are trying to find a “solution” in order to give Formula 2 driver Theo Pourchaire a Free Practice 1 outing.
Pourchaire is a member of the Sauber Academy, and currently sits third in the F2 standings with six race weekends remaining in the championship.
So far in 2022, Pourchaire has twice won the Feature Race, and is now only one point behind second-placed Logan Sargeant in the standings.
As such, the Frenchman appears to be a likely candidate for participating in a Formula 1 FP1 session.
Vasseur looking for “solution” for Pourchaire
Under F1’s current regulations, all teams must give a junior driver an FP1 outing on at least two occasions in the season.
With the 2022 campaign now into its second half, Vasseur admits that Alfa Romeo have to find an opportunity to give Pourchaire his turn in Free Practice 1.
“We will find an FP1 [session] because it’s per regulation that you have to give an FP1 to the rookie,” Vasseur told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“But when we discuss about it, if you consider when you have the F2 races, we have some events with the Sprint races, we will have some events with tyre testing.
“And you can’t imagine [giving] the rookie session to Singapore, even Suzuka will be difficult, even if I think that Max [Verstappen] did it a couple of years ago.
“You don’t have so many races until the end, but we’ll find the solution, don’t worry – by regulation, it’s mandatory.”
The rookies being given an opportunity in FP1
Some F1 teams have already handed one of their cars over to a junior driver during an FP1 session in the first half of the year.
At the Spanish Grand Prix, Formula E champion Nyck de Vries had an outing in the Williams, and Juri Vips got behind the wheel of the Red Bull, though the Estonian has since lost his position as the team’s test and reserve driver after his use of a racial slur in an online gaming stream.
Alfa Romeo’s test and reserve driver, Robert Kubica, also took part in FP1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in place of Zhou Guanyu.