Bottas hails Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou’s progression as an F1 driver

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas revealed his pleasure at seeing Zhou Guanyu's progress as an F1 driver


Valtteri Bottas is delighted to see his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou Guanyu‘s progress since his rookie season in Formula 1, and is expecting more from the Chinese driver.

Zhou came into his rookie year with some doubters but impressed many by scoring points in his maiden Grand Prix in Bahrain and dazzling in the rain at the 2022 Canadian GP, finishing eighth.

“It’s been nice to see his development curve has been pretty steep from the beginning of last year,” Bottas said exclusively to Total “He became almost like a different driver in a way.

“[He’s become] much more confident in his driving, feedback, racing, and qualifying, so he had a good rookie season overall.

“He made very few mistakes and got some points as well. No doubt he’s going to get way more points this year, and he’s going to be a good teammate to battle with for sure. 

“But the main thing is we will be able to work well together like last year. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Mentor role for rookie season

Bottas’ influence as team leader at Alfa Romeo has also seen him become a mentor for Zhou, particularly during his rookie year, to help him find his feet in the sport.

An example of this came in the Brazilian GP Sprint Race at Interlagos in 2022, with Bottas telling Zhou to attack Nicholas Latifi into Turn 10.

“Last year for sure, yes, because I know how difficult it is to jump into Formula 1, having all the pressure in your first season,” explained Bottas. “Whenever there was a chance, I tried to help. 

“But there’s the team interest for me. I want us to score as many points as possible because, in the end, the constructors’ championship is so important. 

“So if there’s a chance for sure, I’ll still try to guide him. But it just comes naturally because I want him to do well.”

Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas at the 2023 Alfa Romeo season launch | Alfa Romeo F1 team

Zhou has proven he belongs in F1

Although his future in the sport remains uncertain long-term, Bottas believes Zhou belongs in F1 and has no concerns about his teammate.

This is in spite of some drivers, such as Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda, having a harder second season after promising rookie campaigns.

“I think he has been proven throughout last year that he belongs in F1, and obviously, this year is another test for the driver,” said Bottas.

“[But] I have no concerns, [he’ll] be fine.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2024 Spanish GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Toto Wolff sets out timeline for Mercedes F1 victory

Toto Wolff explained the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix showed Mercedes are three-tenths behind Formula 1 pacesetters Red Bull and...
Chase Elliott leads the pack at the NASCAR Cup Series USA Today 301 in New Hampshire | NASCAR

How NASCAR had “a lot of fun” with wet weather oval racing at New...

When Mother Nature decided to rain on the NASCAR Cup Series' USA Today 301, however, the sport finally found...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen snaps back as British GP chiefs turn on Red Bull

Max Verstappen has hit back at suggestions that Red Bull are to blame for lower ticket sales ahead of...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Lewis Hamilton dismisses notions he regrets Ferrari move

Lewis Hamilton stunned the Formula 1 world in February by announcing a dramatic switch to Ferrari to replace Carlos...
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals rift with Carlos Sainz after Ferraris collide at Spanish GP

Charles Leclerc slammed Carlos Sainz for ruining his 2024 Spanish Grand Prix as the Ferrari drivers collided at Turn...
Lando Norris celebrates pole position at the 2024 Spanish GP | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris stakes claim to rival Verstappen for F1 drivers’ title

Lando Norris believes that his last two Formula 1 races prove he is capable of competing against Max Verstappen...
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2024 Spanish GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Spanish GP 2024

Max Verstappen clinched his seventh Formula 1 victory of the season at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, but the...
Max Verstappen in the F1 paddock ahead of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Mercedes chairman flirts with Max Verstappen: He’d look good in silver

One of the most important figures within Mercedes AMG, Ola Kallenius, has declared Max Verstappen “would look good in...
Carlos Sainz during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Carlos Sainz hits out at Lewis Hamilton over unpunished Spanish GP move

Carlos Sainz believes Lewis Hamilton should've been given a penalty for his overtaking move that forced the Ferrari driver...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Spanish GP Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warning to Red Bull and demands improvement

Max Verstappen demands Red Bull improvement as another tough race saw the reigning world champion have to really work...
- Advertisment -