SportF1Zhou never doubted if he would renew with Alfa...

Zhou never doubted if he would renew with Alfa Romeo for F1 2023

Ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, it was announced that Alfa Romeo had exercised the option to extend Guanyu Zhou ‘s contract until 2023, after a first season in Formula 1 in which he has been able to deliver some truly amazing performances. .

The confirmation of the continuity of the Chinese driver was something expected in the paddock, but all the movements of the driver market made the seat of Valtteri Bottas’s partner for 2023 sound for some drivers, such as Daniel Ricciardo, who will leave McLaren at end of this course.

Asked by if his continuity with the team had ever been called into question, Zhou replied: “To be honest, no.”

“I mean, there were doubts at the beginning of the season because I didn’t know what my first season here was going to be like. But actually, it’s gone pretty well.”

“The team is very happy with the objectives that we have been able to achieve. And also with having been able to demonstrate the potential of my driving.”

“As the year progressed I noticed there was a good chance of staying with the team.”

“So finally continuing with Alfa Romeo and announcing it here in Singapore has been incredible. And [I’m] very excited about all the new challenges ahead,” added the Chinese.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Team boss Frederic Vasseur also explained that “it wasn’t just one thing” that convinced the top managers that continuing with Zhou was the best option.

“The objective was clear at the beginning, we had to get to Q2,” said Vasseur.

“And from the first race he was able to do it, and he even got a point.”

“He managed to get to Q3 a few times and even in Monza he was able to fight for Q3 again. That means he has made a step forward.”

“Outside the car he’s also doing a fantastic job in terms of working with the team and with his team-mate.”

“And in the factory he always tries to raise the motivation of all the employees. I think he is doing a very good job. I am more than happy and proud of what Zhou has done so far.”

Despite his great start to the season, his six points from 16 races are far behind the 40 that Bottas has garnered, as some reliability problems earlier in the year hurt the Chinese, just at the time that Alfa Romeo it was more competitive.

That advantage was largely due to the C42 being the only car to start the season meeting the minimum weight stipulated by the regulations, but when other teams were able to remove extra weight from their cars, that disappeared.

“He had some reliability issues,” Vasseur said comparing Zhou and Bottas’ points.

“The worst moment for him was probably when he was fighting for the points in Miami [he had to retire with a water pump problem].

“It was a shame, but the season is long and his career is long too, so we have to focus on the future.”

“He knows he has to improve in some areas and it’s not always easy in his debut season in F1.

“He’s doing a good job and we know it’s a long process, but step by step it’s there.”

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