Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou will continue racing with Alfa Romeo during the 2023 Formula 1 season, with the team confirming that he will partner Valtteri Bottas in an unchanged line up.
Zhou has had a mixed rookie campaign with the Chinese driver scoring points on his F1 debut and showing flashes of brilliance but has ultimately been let down by a string of bad luck.
Zhou also endured a horrific accident at this year’s British Grand Prix, with the Chinese driver saved by the intervention of the halo after being tangled up in an incident at the start.
“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 in an official press statement.
“Making it to Formula1 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’s work ethic commended
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur, added that he was impressed with Zhou’s ability to adapt quickly to the demands and characteristics of a Formula 1 car and that his work rate has impressed everyone on the team.
“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.”
Zhou is currently 17th in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship after securing six points with an eighth place at this year’s Canadian Grand Prix his best result.
They don’t race on paper
The results column tells a very different story to the races in Zhou‘s debut campaign. Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, he’s been outqualified 11-6 by Bottas and only has six points compared to his 46 for his teammate.
But after a junior career that didn’t set the world alight, Zhou‘s shown what he can do and where he can improve, and his points tally isn’t helped by four mechanical retirements and his horror crash in Silverstone where he was the innocent party.
His racecraft has been praised, and aged 23 there’s still plenty of time to improve.