On Tuesday, Zhou Guanyu signed a new one-year contract with the Swiss-based team following an encouraging start in his rookie season. The renewal means there are only three seats still available on the 2023 grid at Alpine, Haas, and Williams.
China’s first Formula 1 driver made his F1 debut this season and currently sits the 17th in the Driver Standings with six points. He finished on his F1 debut in Bahrain, 8th in Canada, and 10th in Italy. His teammate in the completely revamped Alfa Romeo garage Valtteri Bottas sits 10th in the Championship with 46 points. Zhou’s performances and potential have shown Alfa Romeo he has earned a second season following an announcement on Tuesday.
The team says they have been impressed by the 23-year-old’s “commitment and attitude”, as he has shown “levels of maturity and race craft that belie his young age.”
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) September 27, 2022
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur believes that Zhou has been one of the surprises of the 2022 season. “I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou,” said the Frenchman.
“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 1 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.”
Zhou said reaching Formula 1 is a dream come true and he is looking forward to the next chapter and fighting for more points.
“I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season. Making it to Formula 1 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.”
The Current Formula 1 Grid for 2023:
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso||Lance Stroll|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly||Yuki Tsunoda|
As things stand, only three seats remain unconfirmed for next season. At Alpine, the team is searching for a replacement for the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, Williams is yet to select a teammate for Alex Albon, and Mick Schumacher’s future at Haas is also up in the air.