Alfa Romeo signs Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou for 2022


Guanyu Zhou will become the first Chinese Formula One race driver next season when he joins Alfa Romeo as Valtteri Bottas’ teammate.

On Tuesday, Alfa Romeo confirmed Zhou will join the team for the 2022 season, meaning Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi will not be on the grid next year.

Bottas was announced as the team’s other signing for 2022 earlier this year, with current driver Kimi Raikkonen set to retire from F1 at the end of this year.

Zhou, 22, has been racing in Formula 2 since 2019 and has also been a member of the Alpine driver academy in recent years.

He is currently second in the F2 standings behind Oscar Piastri, who was named as an Alpine reserve driver for next year on Tuesday.

“I dreamt from a young age of climbing as high as I can in a sport that I am passionate about and now the dream has come true,” Zhou said. “It is a privilege for me to start my Formula One racing career with an iconic team, a team that has introduced so much young talent into Formula One in the past. Now the dream is reality.

“I feel well prepared for the immense challenge of Formula One, the pinnacle of my sport, alongside a proven, world-class talent in Valtteri Bottas. I wish to thank the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team for this opportunity. Next year the target will be to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible.

“To be the first ever Chinese driver in Formula One is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history. I know a lot of hopes will be resting on me and, as ever, I will take this as motivation to become better and achieve more.”

Alfa Romeo team principal, Frederic Vasseur, added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Guanyu Zhou to Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. He is a very talented driver, as his results in F2 have shown, and we are looking forward to helping his talent flourish even more in Formula One.

“We are proud of our line-up for 2022 and we are confident Zhou will form a very successful partnership with Valtteri. We are also looking forward to welcoming all the new Chinese fans who will join the team: Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN is a historical brand and one that embodies the spirit of Formula One and we will do our utmost to make the experience of our sport a great one in China.”

F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, also welcomed Zhou’s arrival at Alfa Romeo.

“The news Guanyu Zhou will be in F1 next season is fantastic for the sport and the millions of passionate Chinese fans that now have a home hero to cheer all year long. The pyramid in F2 is working and promoting talent to the topflight of motorsport. Zhou is an incredible talent, who will be a fantastic addition to the amazing grid we have, and he will entertain and keep all our Chinese fans excited in 2022.”



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