Zhou to remain with Alfa Romeo for F1 2023 season

Zhou Guanyu will contest his sophomore F1 season with Alfa Romeo after signing a new one-year contract with the team. 
Zhou to remain with Alfa Romeo for F1 2023 season

The 23-year-old made history this year by becoming F1’s first Chinese driver, partnering former Mercedes racer Valtteri Bottas to complete Alfa Romeo’s refreshed driver line-up for 2022. 

Zhou has scored six points in 16 races, including a best result of eighth place at the Canadian Grand Prix, and lies 17th in the drivers’ standings with six rounds remaining in his rookie F1 campaign. 

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EXCLUSIVE: Zhou reveals support from F1 ally Hamilton 

Thanks to Zhou and Bottas’ efforts, Hinwil-based Alfa Romeo are on course to end the season sixth in the constructors’ championship standings. 

Alfa Romeo officially confirmed Zhou’s new deal on Tuesday, ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix

“I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season," said Zhou.

"Making it to F1 was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever: the team has been incredibly supportive, welcoming me from day one and helping me adapt to the most complex series in motorsport.

"There is more that I want to achieve in this sport and with the team, and the hard work we have put together since the start of the year is just the first step towards where we want to be next season. There is still a lot to learn, a lot to develop but I am confident in our work: I am looking forward to the next chapter of our story together.”

Guanyu Zhou (CHN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C42. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Race
Guanyu Zhou (CHN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C42. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur said the team were surprised at how quickly Zhou has adapted to life in F1 following his promotion from F2. 

“I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou," Vasseur said. "From day one with the team, at the Abu Dhabi test last year, he has impressed me with his approach to work and this is always a very positive trait.

"We knew he was quick, but the way he adapted to F1 in such a short time has been one of the best surprises of our season. He is a very nice guy, everyone in the team likes both his personality and attitude.

"He has had the humility to ask questions and learn, from the engineers as well as Valtteri, and the intelligence to apply all the information he got to improve race after race. He will have this experience to draw on next season, and I am sure he will make another step forward as we continue to grow our team.”

As well as finishing third in last year’s F2 championship, Zhou helped seal a move to Alfa Romeo at the expense of Antonio Giovinazzi by bringing a sizable financial package from his Chinese backers. 

And Alfa Romeo are set to feel the benefit of even greater exposure from Zhou’s presence on the grid with the Chinese Grand Prix provisionally included on the F1 2023 calendar

F1 is aiming to race in Shanghai for the first time in three years next April, though the return of the Chinese Grand Prix depends on the country’s COVID-19 situation. 

Zhou spoke of his excitement about the prospect of racing in front of his home crowd for the first time during a wide-ranging interview with Crash.net.

The announcement of Zhou’s renewal locks out Alfa Romeo’s line-up and leaves just three vacancies in the F1 2023 driver line-up - with one seat free at Alpine, Haas and Williams respectively. 

(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team and Guanyu Zhou (CHN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team on the drivers parade. Formula
(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team and Guanyu Zhou (CHN)…

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