Zhou Guanyu downplays rumours of his pending exit from Alfa Romeo

Michelle Foster
Zhou Guanyu speaks to the media. Monaco May 2023

Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu speaks to the media. Monaco May 2023

Zhou Guanyu is not fixated on the Formula 2 log despite championship leader Théo Pourchaire once again being linked to his Alfa Romeo race seat.

Promoted to Formula 1 in 2022, it was speculated at the time that Zhou got the Alfa Romeo seat because Pourchaire was deemed to be too young and inexperienced.

Putting in a solid first season Zhou held onto his drive with Sauber junior Pourchaire re-signing with ART Grand Prix for a third season in F2, a season he’s leading.

Zhou Guanyu: It’s the same rumours every year

Although he’s claimed just one race win, 19-year-old Pourchaire has eight additional podiums taking him to 168 points, 12 ahead of Frederik Vesti with three rounds remaining.

His performances this season have put the Frenchman back in the Formula 1 spotlight with rumours suggesting he could be coming for Zhou’s race seat.

The Chinese driver, who is out of contract at the end of this season, has downplayed that, after all, he had to deal with the same rumours last season.

“To be fair, I feel like from the beginning of every year, people try to say this, some people might be in with a chance of taking the seat,” said the 24-year-old.

“But for me, I don’t care about what other people are doing in their championship.

“What I need to do is prove I belong here, prove that I am improving, that I am making a big step and then there will be not too much to worry about.

“But if I make a lot of mistakes, then I feel like I don’t deserve to be here, and it is right that they have the chance to get the seat.

“If I do everything right, there’s no reason to be worried about [losing my seat.]”

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While Pourchaire has been flying this season, Zhou has managed just four points in an under-whelming campaign for Alfa Romeo.

He, however, hopes to continue with the team into 2024 and beyond.

“I want to have a clear picture before the summer ends, that’s for sure, and we have to see what to do to make everything happen on paper,” Zhou said. “My manager is discussing with the team, so we have to see.

“This time last year I was more worried than right now because I feel like the team is quite happy with the job we were able to do. I’m just continuing to work as I did.

“I think things will come but it takes a bit of time to figure out. I feel reasonably happy with the scenario and also with the people I’ve been working for, so obviously very happy to continue in the future.

“My priority is trying to stay here. After two years I really feel I’m settled well within the team.”

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