Sauber protege Theo Pourchaire had his first Formula 1 test this week driving a 2019 Alfa Romeo in Hungary.
The Formula 2 race winner, who is only 17 years old, is a member of the Sauber Academy.
He drove the two-year-old Alfa at the Hungaroring on Wednesday alongside the teams conducting 2022 Pirelli tyre test running.
F1’s rules for testing previous cars allow unlimited mileage but demonstration tyres are used.
Yesterday a dream came true, I drove for the first time of my life a Formula 1 car. I remember dreaming of that day as a kid. I would like to thanks the whole @alfaromeoracing team for this amazing experience and unforgettable day 🙏🏻#f1 #TP21 pic.twitter.com/XDx24rmiHt
— Théo Pourchaire (@TPourchaire) August 5, 2021
Alfa Romeo, which is run by Sauber, has released no information about the test beyond claiming Pourchaire “completed a full programme”.
Pourchaire graduated to F2 for this season after an extremely impressive rookie FIA Formula 3 season in which he finished runner-up against more experienced rivals.
He is considered one of the most exciting drivers in the F1 support categories and though his F2 season has yielded mixed results so far he is sixth in the championship with the highlight being a win from pole position in the Monaco feature race.
Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur has previously said it is “a bit too early” to talk about Pourchaire as an option for an F1 seat next year.
Both Alfa seats are available and the team is said to be open to completely changing its line-up.
Vasseur said in June that Pourchaire is “still chasing his driving licence and we have to give him time to do the job”.
Asked by The Race at the French Grand Prix if Sauber would face a fight to keep hold of Pourchaire, Vasseur said: “We have a contract with Theo, but I don’t want to be in a rush with Theo.
“Keep in mind he is 17. If you compare him to all the other talents coming into F1 they were much older.
“I don’t want to make any comparison with Lewis [Hamilton], [Nico] Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg or Charles [Leclerc, who all graduated to F1 after one season in F2] and I think it would be a mistake to push him to early.
“He has to do the job in F2 first and then we will have time to discuss later on.”