Guanyu Zhou named Alfa Romeo competitor for 2022 F1 season

Following months of speculation and anticipation, Alfa Romeo Racing filled the missing piece to their two-car driver lineup after revealing that Guanyu Zhou will be joining the organization as their newest competitor for the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

A 22-year-old native from Shanghai, China, Zhou, whose racing career started in karting at age eight before he worked his way up through the open-wheel ladder, currently competes in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for UNI-Virtuosi Racing, where he has notched three victories and seven podium results as he is in second place in the current F2 standings.

Zhou, who was once part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, also serves a test competitor for the Alpine F1 Team as part of the Alpine Academy. He became the second Chinese competitor to participate in a Formula One practice session when he tested two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso’s Alpine car prior during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, the first since Ma Quinghua competed in five practice sessions with HRT and Caterham in 2012 and 2013.

With the news of Zhou’s promotion to Formula One and filling in the 20th and final vacant seat at Alfa Romeo for the upcoming season, he is set to become the first Chinese competitor to embark in a full Formula One season.

“I dreamt from a young age of climbing as high as I can in a sport that I am passionate about and now the dream has come true,” Zhou said. “It is a privilege for me to start my Formula 1 career with an iconic team, a team that has introduced so much young talent into Formula 1 in the past. Now the dream is reality…To be the first ever Chinese driver in Formula 1 is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history. I know a lot of hopes will be resting on me and, as ever, I will take this as motivation to become better and achieve more.”

Zhou will be a teammate to Valtteri Bottas, who is set to join Alfa Romeo Racing on a multi-year basis for the upcoming F1 season. The 28-year-old Bottas from Nastola, Finland, is currently in his fifth and final full-time season with the reigning champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. Through November 2021, he has achieved 10 Grand Prix victories, including this year’s Turkish Grand Prix in October, and is currently ranked in third place in the driver’s standings. Bottas’ seat at Mercedes will be occupied by Williams’ George Russell for the 2022 season.

“I feel well prepared for the immense challenge of Formula 1, the pinnacle of my sport, alongside a proven, world-class talent in Valtteri Bottas,” Zhou added. “I wish to thank the Alfa Romeo Racing team for this opportunity. Next year the target will be to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible.”

“It is a pleasure to welcome Guanyu Zhou to Alfa Romeo Racing,” Fred Vasseur, CEO and Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing, added. “He is a very talented driver, as his results in F2 have shown, and we are looking forward to helping his talent flourish even more in Formula 1. We are proud of our line-up for 2022 and we are confident Zhou will form a very successful partnership with Valtteri. We are also looking forward to welcoming all the new Chinese fans who will join the team: Alfa Romeo Racing is a historical brand and one that embodies the spirit of Formula 1 and we will do our utmost to make the experience of our sport a great one in China.”

Zhou will be replacing Antonio Giovinazzi, who is currently in his third full-time season with the team and is set to leave the team at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. Giovinazzi, a 27-year-old racer from Martina Franca, Italy, has achieved eight top-10 points-paying results since 2019. He is currently ranked in 18th place in the driver’s standings with one top-10 result, which was a 10th-place result in the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

Kimi Räikkönen, Alfa Romeo’s second competitor, is set to retire from Formula One competition at the conclusion of this season and following a 19-year career where he has achieved 21 career victories, 103 podiums and the 2007 championship. Räikkönen is currently ranked in 16th place in the driver’s standings with 10 points.

With the 20-car grid field set, Guanyu Zhou is set to embark in his first full-time season in Formula One competition at Bahrain International Circuit for the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Andrew Kim
An avid motorsports enthusiast from California with aspirations of working in any form of communications, PR or digital/social media in motorsports.

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