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
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


F1 2026 regulations: Lewis Hamilton urges FIA to consider changes

Lewis Hamilton has called on the FIA to reconsider their F1 2026 regulation changes to make sure they benefit...

How cautions helped Ryan Blaney win at Pocono

At the NASCAR Cup Series' Gateway race in June, Ryan Blaney's crew chief Jonathan Hassler decided to gamble on...

Lewis Hamilton hints at expanding sports team ownership portfolio amid MotoGP takeover links

Lewis Hamilton played it cool over rumours he's looking to buy the Grissini MotoGP team but revealed he does...

Max Verstappen coy on 2026 Red Bull Ford engine competitiveness after confirming future team

Max Verstappen refused to give too much insight into his expectations for the Red Bull Ford engine that will...

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
- Advertisment -
Exit mobile version