Alfa Romeo have announced that Guanyu Zhou has been retained for 2023 F1 season.
Alfa Romeo’s decision to retain Zhou comes after a solid rookie season in terms of performance despite the Chinese driver earning just six points, with a season-best finish of eighth in Canada which has left him sat 17th in the driver standings.
Explaining the decision to retain Zhou alongside Valtteri Bottas for 2023 season, Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur praised the 23 year-old for “his approach to work” which Vasseur believes is “always a very positive trait.”
Vasseur proceeded to explain that he and everyone else knew Zhou was a “quick driver” in terms of speed and adaptability, as he admitted that the manner in which Zhou had adapted to F1 is “one of the best surprises of our season.”
Expanding on what Zhou had brought to the team beyond his racecraft ability, Vasseur continued: “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.”
On what will be expected of Zhou next season, Vasseur concluded: “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 – previously part of Alpine Academy – meanwhile admitted that he feels both “happy and grateful” to remain in F1 with Alfa Romeo for another season.
He proceeded to describe competing in this season as “a dream come true” as he praised Alfa Romeo for providing an “incredibly supportive,” environment to help him adapt and learn in his rookie campaign.
Zhou though iterated that he is eager to push forward up the grid next season as he commented: “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.”
Confirmation of Zhou’s seat now leaves questions over Theo Pourchaire’s future at the team, having looked the likely favourite at start of this season to secure the 2023 drive until a mid-season slump in F2 cost him the title.