Next season is slated to be Alfa Romeo’s last season in partnership with Sauber in Formula 1. While Audi has announced its 2026 entry into the world championship as a power unit supplier, the German manufacturer has yet to reveal a partner F1 team that it will supply. It is widely believed that Audi will take over Sauber to operate as a factory team. However, it’s business as usual for 2023 at the Switzerland-based team.
The Alfa Romeo F1 Team has announced that Zhou Guanyu will remain at the constructor alongside Valtteri Bottas for the 2023 season. Zhou entered F1 as a rookie under intense scrutiny as he was chosen by Alfa Romeo ahead of the 2020 Formula 2 runner-up and team reserve driver Callum Illot. F1’s first Chinese driver earned the respect of many through the point-scoring finish on his debut or the startling race-start crash he endured in Britain. As expected of most, Zhou has had a turbulent season so far. Though, he has kept within arm’s length of his veteran teammate in terms of pace.
On Zhou’s re-signing, team principal Frédéric Vasseur said:
“I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou. From day one with the team, at the Abu Dhabi test last year, he has impressed me with his approach to work and this is always a very positive trait. We knew he was quick, but the way he adapted to Formula One in such a short time has been one of the best surprises of our season. He is a very nice guy, everyone in the team likes both his personality and attitude. He has had the humility to ask questions and learn, from the engineers as well as Valtteri, and the intelligence to apply all the information he got to improve race after race. He will have this experience to draw on next season, and I am sure he will make another step forward as we continue to grow our team.”
The 23-year-old driver said, “There is more that I want to achieve in this sport and with the team, and the hard work we have put together since the start of the year is just the first step towards where we want to be next season. There is still a lot to learn, a lot to develop but I am confident in our work: I am looking forward to the next chapter of our story together.” Zhou continues to show the potential he had in F2 behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, and I’m excited to see how he develops as a driver in his sophomore season.