Alfa Romeo reveal why Zhou Guanyu won battle for 2024 F1 seat

Alfa Romeo opted to retain Zhou and Bottas for the third consecutive season for 2024.

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Alfa Romeo team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi has said the outfit’s need for consistency was behind the decision to retain Zhou Guanyu as a driver for the 2024 season.

The Sauber-run team announced ahead of the Singapore GP that it had opted to resign both Zhou and Valtteri Bottas for next year, despite a mixed run of results so far in 2023, for the third season running.

Several other drivers were reported to be in the running for the seat amid questions about Zhou’s pace after two seasons in F1, while there was some uncertainty about whether Bottas would opt for another year on the grid.

Speaking to media in Singapore, Alunni Bravi said that the Chinese driver had earned the opportunity to continue developing alongside his experienced teammate as the team looks to work its way up the table.

“I think we are being consistent with what we said from the beginning of the season, we are in a transition period as a team in a full transformation process. And we want to have stability in our drivers lineup. Of course, we need to have all the conditions for Zhou to remain,” he said.

“Also, I think we have an open and transparent discussion in the last few months. But our aim was always to keep working with him for another year. We think that he can do another step and improve like he did from last year to this season.

“So we expect him to be more comfortable with the team to do another step in terms of speed and consistency. And for us was the very best choice to keep our driver lineup tell us a little bit more about the step that he’s made from last year to this.

Matching Bottas

The Alfa Romeo drivers have been fairly evenly matched this season even as the team’s car has proven inconsistent with its performances, and Alunni Bravi said that Zhou’s ability to matched the much more experienced Bottas in qualifying merited more time in the seat.

“I think that we have seen in qualifying, being able to match Valtteri’s performance on several occasions. I think they still need to improve in their approach to the weekend because we want him to be more aggressive from lab one in that one session,” he said.

“And so to really maximise his potential throughout the weekend. And of course, we need to be more consistent from circuit to circuit but we need to help him because our car also has not been so consistent this year.

“And we need to work all together to improve every areas and to improve as a team and also on the driver side. So consistency is important for him.”

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