Zhou Guanyu has revealed the chain of advice his Alfa Romeo teammate Valtteri Bottas has given him since arriving in Formula 1.
Throughout his F1 journey, Zhou’s teammate Bottas has been crucial to his development as a Grand Prix driver coaching him during races and helping him find his feet in the sport.
“[He’s become] much more confident in his driving,” said Bottas to Total Motorsport.com. “I think he has been proven throughout last year that he belongs in F1.”
The pair have a good rapport off the track, and on it, they’ve proved to be an influential duo helping Alfa Romeo finish sixth in the constructors’ championships, the team’s best result since 2012.
“It has been extremely helpful,” said Zhou. He very kindly gave me advice during the season, especially last year for the first part of the season. I felt the older teammate was looking after me.
“[He] made sure every question I had, he would give me clear, transparent answers, which sometimes is not the case in racing.
“It’s really good in that sense we get along well and work together to improve the car. Last year, he gave me all these throwbacks to what he felt when he started his [F1] journey.
“So, it’s been really good [being] together with him, and he’s one of the best teammates I’ve had in my racing career.”
Room for improvement after disappointing start to the season
Alfa Romeo and Zhou haven’t enjoyed a stellar start to the season, with the team picking up one point with Bottas in Bahrain, whilst Zhou opened his account in Australia.
With the midfield tightly packed, the expected upgrade window at the time of April’s Azerbaijan GP could determine Alfa Romeo’s standing in the order.
“I wasn’t too happy with the performance in Bahrain,” explained Zhou. “In the first lap, I lost too much ground, but the speed was there. I qualified very close to Valtteri.
“Jeddah was a bit more frustrating due to not being in the best pitstop window between the Haas‘, and this compromised our race, but there were a lot [of] positives apart from the result.
“As a team, we need to keep working, bring upgrades to return to our early 2022 form and compete in points. In terms of myself, I think we could maximise what we had.”