Despite growing speculation over his Formula 1 future in recent weeks, Zhou Guanyu will remain with Alfa Romeo alongside Valtteri Bottas for the F1 2024 season.
While Zhou has generally impressed in F1 2023, his second season in Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo, he faced a serious threat to his position with the team in the form of Sauber junior and Formula 2 title contender Théo Pourchaire.
Zhou can now rest easy, however, knowing his future is secure for 2024, with the team choosing to retain him alongside Bottas for an unchanged driver line-up. Pourchaire will continue as the team’s reserve driver.
Zhou Guanyu looks forward to home race
With Zhou now signed up for the F1 2024 campaign, it means he is set to finally get the opportunity to race in front of his home crowd, with the Chinese Grand Prix due to return to the calendar next season having last taken place in 2019.
Reacting to the announcement, Zhou said: “Signing again with the team is always a great feeling, especially when we know how things are shaping up.
“I am proud to be part of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake and grateful for their trust: I have been working extremely hard since day one and there is an incredible level of motivation to keep doing so every day forward.
“My relationship with Valtteri is really good, and we are working closely together and with the team to push everyone forward.
“I am also very excited about the opportunity to finally race with my team in China, in front of my home crowd. It will be a great moment and I’m proud to be able to share it with all those who have supported me.”
Valtteri Bottas sees “exciting journey” ahead
The Alfa Romeo-Sauber union concludes at the end of F1 2023 ahead of Audi’s arrival for 2026, at which point Sauber will morph into the Audi works team running their newly-developed power unit for the regulatory reset to come that year.
And with his driving alliance with Zhou to continue, Bottas is confident that his team are very much on the right path.
“I have a feeling we have an exciting journey ahead of us, so I am happy and grateful to be able to look forward to 2024 knowing how the team is shaping up,” said Bottas.
“There is a good atmosphere within our squad, I get along with Zhou and we both push each other hard to improve.
“There is an impressive amount of work going on behind the scenes, in Hinwil and beyond, and now that the line-up is set for next year, we can focus fully on improving, starting this weekend in Singapore already.
“Every step forward we make is a step forward for this year and next, so we are motivated to give everything we have every time we’re trackside or at the factory.”
Bottas finally ended Alfa Romeo’s streak without a point with his P10 finish last time out at Monza, the team having not scored since the Canadian Grand Prix prior to that.