Zhou Guanyu will be remaining at Alfa Romeo for a second season after it was announced he had signed a new deal with the team.
Zhou, the first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1, has had his future confirmed today with Alfa Romeo signing him up to continue alongside Valtteri Bottas for next year. The news comes just a week after the 2023 calendar was announced with the Chinese Grand Prix set to make its return to the series in April next year, after last being held in 2019.
After spending a few years as a test driver for Renault/Alpine, 2021 was a big year for the young driver as he won the Asian F3 Championship, had his first F1 practice outing in Austria, came third in the F2 Championship, and was signed up for a full-time F1 seat.
“I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season,” Zhou said. “Making it to Formula One 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.”
Zhou started his F1 career off well scoring a point in his debut race, the Bahrain Grand Prix, and since then has also taken top ten finishes in Canada and last time out in Italy. While the rookie does have forty points less than his more experienced teammate, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur says that he has impressed the team with his attitude and work ethic.
“I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou,” Vasseur added. “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 Formula One 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.”
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) September 27, 2022