Alfa Romeo have reportedly decided to keep the services of Zhou Guanyu following some recent speculation that the Chinese driver could lose his seat.
Zhou has been with the Alfa team since the start of 2022 but there were some reports that the team, who will switch back to being called Sauber next season, were considering dropping him in favour of young starlet Theo Pourchaire.
But a new report has suggested Alfa have kept faith in Zhou and will offer him a new deal for the 2024 season
Zhou Gunayu wins Alfa Romeo battle over Theo Pourchaire
Despite being on just four points so far this season, Zhou’s performances have been better than that tally might suggest with the C43 undoubtedly one of the worst cars on the grid.
He is just two points behind Valtteri Bottas and appears to have done enough to earn an extension to his deal, something he told PlanetF1.com in July he was optimistic about.
But that optimism will have taken a tumble when a number of reports touted Pourchaire as a successor for Zhou. The 20-year-old is currently the longest serving member of the Sauber Academy and as he is leading the F2 championship, is certainly knocking on the door of F1.
However, French outlet Canal+ believes Zhou has won the battle over Pourchaire and will keep his seats for the 2024 season.
Journalist Julien Febreau tweeted that a number of drivers, not just from F2, were campaigning for that seat but Zhou is now “on the verge” of extending.
If Zhou does extend, that will leave just three seats to be filled with vacancies at AlphaTauri and Williams.
Speaking to PlanetF1.com earlier in the year, Zhou revealed his desire to have a longer than one-year contract.
“Yeah, I’d prefer to have a long deal,” he said.
“I’m definitely trying to have more than a one-year deal and then to be having an open mind for 2026.
“So we need to see that, but every driver wants to get along – we want to stay here in Formula 1 for the entire career. On the other hand, we have to see what’s the best for us as possible. Scoring points, podiums, race victories -that’s always the long-term goal.”