Bottas’ 2022 teammate could be named after Brazil

Sun, 7 November 2021, 08:00

Nov.7 (GMM) Alfa Romeo could be ready to decide Valtteri Bottas’ 2022 teammate after next weekend’s race in Brazil.

Antonio Giovinazzi, the incumbent, admits he has no idea which way team boss Frederic Vasseur’s decision will go.

“I don’t know if it’s good news or bad news,” said the Italian in Mexico when asked about the looming call.

“Of course it’s not ideal when you don’t know what you’re doing next year, but that’s the way it is.”

Giovinazzi, 27, is strongly supported by Ferrari.

But Vasseur is believed to be weighing up between Guanyu Zhou’s $30 million in Chinese backing, the Mark Webber-managed Oscar Piastri, or his own favourite Theo Pourchaire.

“I was just asked that,” Frenchman Vasseur laughed in Mexico when asked which way it will go.

“I was asked ‘Who will sit next to Valtteri’ and I said it will be me in my office.”

More seriously, Vasseur added: “We will make a decision a little later – possibly after Brazil.

“I don’t want to say any specific candidates, because every time we do there is all this noise in the press. So we’d better keep calm.

“We have to make a difficult and important choice, but soon we will decide, and as soon as this happens, we will inform everyone,” he said.

Vasseur admitted it’s not an ideal situation for Giovinazzi to be so deep in the season without knowing his 2022 fate, insisting: “But in Formula 1, everyone is under pressure”.

“I think Hamilton and Verstappen are feeling the great burden of responsibility on them, but these are the features of the business we are in.”

He also confessed that with the regulations changing so significantly for 2022, and Bottas arriving from Mercedes, Alfa Romeo could benefit from some level of driver stability.

“Of course such a factor as stability of the lineup is important,” admitted Vasseur, “but this is far from the only factor on which our choice depends.”

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