Alfa Romeo has announced a contract extension for Zhou Guanyu that will keep him with the team for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Zhou has impressed in his rookie year to date, scoring points on debut in Bahrain and also finishing in the top 10 in Monza, with a best result of eighth in Montreal. The Chinese driver will remain alongside Valtteri Bottas in an unchanged line-up for Alfa Romeo next season, and says he has plenty of developing still to do as he moves into his second year in Formula 1.
“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 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.”
Zhou has impressed Alfa Romeo with his commitment and work ethic, integrating himself into the team with regular visits to the factory in Switzerland – something team principal Frederic Vasseur says has not gone unnoticed.
“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 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.”
The confirmation of 23-year-old Zhou’s seat means there are just three vacancies left on the 2023 grid: one at Williams, one at Haas and one at Alpine – although Pierre Gasly could still move on from AlphaTauri despite already being confirmed for next year.