Alfa Romeo is one of three Formula 1 teams, whose roster for 2021 remains open. There are no confirmed contracts with drivers, but there are more than enough rumors on this topic.
In recent weeks, names such as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have been increasingly heard in this context. According to the official website of the championship, contacts between the management of the team and the Mexican have already been, because in Hinville they wanted to find out whether he will really be free from any obligations after parting with Racing Point. On the other hand, Frederick Wasser is known to have a very high regard for Hulkenberg. At one time, Niko played for his ART team in GP2 and in 2009 became the champion of this youth series.
But some of them can be invited to the team only if Kimi Raikkonen decides to end his career in Formula 1, which is not a fact. His contract with Alfa Romeo expires at the end of this season, but there are persistent rumors, which are partly confirmed by inside information, that the Finn is inclined to stay for another year, especially since the team wants it.
This year, once again, how important it is to engineers his information about the behavior of the car, and if Raikkonen feels the urge to work a little more, Alfa Romeo will be happy about it.
“We need to discuss the situation together,” said Wasseur, head of the Swiss team. – Now we are far from being in an ideal situation, because we are lagging behind, but I think that Kimi’s motivation does not depend on the results of one particular race. Soon we will discuss everything with him in order to find out what he wants to do and what I want to do. We will find some solution. “
As for the second place in the team, then, according to the official website of the championship, it will definitely be taken by one of the protégés of Ferrari.
In theory, this could be Antonio Giovinazzi, who has been driving for Alfa Romeo for the second season, but another scenario is more interesting, in which the partner of the most experienced driver of modern Formula 1 can be one of the graduates of the Ferrari Racing Academy – Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott or Robert Schwartzman.
“Yes, we are interested in them, – confirmed Wasseur when asked about these young riders. – At the same time, Antonio is also on our list. We need to talk to him to understand what he wants to do, and we also need to find out from Ferrari what they want on their part.
We are in no hurry to make a decision. I think it is important for the young guys to finish the season in Formula 2, although the last two races will be quite late. However, it is important to get the final picture and not start negotiations in the middle of the season.
Ferrari has three great young drivers. Schwartzman is a newcomer to the series, and at the same time he is doing a very good job. Schumacher and Ilott show good results. It’s much nicer to be in a situation where you have a good choice than when you don’t have one at all.
Alfa Romeo will get a better look at Mick Schumacher next week when he drives Antonio Giovinazzi’s car in his first Friday training session at the Nurburgring. Of course, it is no coincidence that the leader of the Formula 2 individual standings will officially debut in this capacity right now – this suggests that he should be considered the main contender for a place in the team.
Robert Schwartzman is also due to hold Friday’s training session with Alfa Romeo, but it will be at the end of the season in Abu Dhabi. Callum Ilott prepares to replace Roman Grosjean and drive the Haas F1 Team’s car in training ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix.
In any case, the words of Frederic Wasser that the team is in no hurry to make a decision should be understood as follows: this decision is unlikely to become known in the coming weeks, most likely it will have to wait at least until Christmas.