Zhou not focusing on long-term F1 plans yet

Michelle Foster
Zhou Guanya settling into his car. Monaco May 2022

Alfa Romeo Zhou Guanya settling into his car in the garage, cameraman filming him. Monaco May 2022

Zhou Guanyu is “not really too worried” about what he’ll be doing next season, saying it is too early to enter talks with Alfa Romeo for a second season on the grid.

Zhou made history this season when he arrived on the Formula 1 grid with Alfa Romeo, the first Chinese driver to compete in the sport.

With a dream come true point on his debut, the driver was hailed by everyone in the paddock, but that was where his top-ten results began and ended.

He has not scored since while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas is proving to be one of the stars of the championship, taking the fight McLaren and at times even his former team Mercedes.

With 40 points on the board, the Finn is responsible for Alfa Romeo’s P5 in the championship.

But while Bottas has a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo, Zhou’s position isn’t as secure as he is believed to have signed a one-year deal.

He says it is too early to start talking about 2023.

He said as per Motorsport.com: “It’s still the beginning of this season. So I have no plans yet towards the future or what’s the plan yet. But I quite enjoy my moments so far in Formula 1.

“Of course, it’s been quite up and down, due to the last few races reasons.

“But overall, I feel very happy and very nice to be here. And I feel like there’s still plenty of races for me to develop my ability in Formula 1 yet.

“So I’m not really too worried about the future yet. And I think right now I’ll just try to focus on getting myself up to speed and bring the team double points finishes.

“And then if everything plays out as planned I see no reason what’s the future going to be but I feel quite confident that we can still do the job this season and I’m not too worried about what’s coming up in next year’s plan yet.”

Zhou’s seat was under pressure even before the first race of this season with Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire knocking on the door.

Racing in his second season in Formula 1, Sauber making the call to keep the teenager in the junior series to give him more experience, the 18-year-old has already won two races this season to sit second in the Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship.

Many believe the ART Grand Prix driver will be stepping up to Formula 1 next season, putting Zhou’s seat under threat.


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