Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen announced that Zhou Guanyu will be remaining with the organization for the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
The 23-year-old Zhou from Shanghai, China, is currently embarking in his maiden season in F1 competition, having been the first Chinese competitor to compete in F1. He scored his maiden point in F1 after finishing 10th during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit in March. Since then, he recorded his career-best result to date of eighth place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during the Canadian Grand Prix in June and is coming off a 10th-place run at Monza Circuit during the Italian Grand Prix in early September.
Zhou is currently ranked in 17th place in the drivers’ standings with six points through the first 16-scheduled events, but has greatly contributed to this year’s success of Alfa Romeo alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas as the team is situated in sixth place in the constructors’ standings with 52 points, 18 points ahead of Haas and 19 over Scuderia AlphaTauri.
“I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season,” Zhou said. “Making it to Formula One was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever: the team has been incredibly supportive, welcoming me from day one and helping me adapt to the most complex series in motorsport. 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.”
Prior to F1, Zhou, whose racing career started with karts at the age of eight, competed in three seasons in Formula 2 with UNI-Virtuosi Racing, where he accumulated a total of five victories and a third-place result in the 2021 standings. He also spent the previous two F1 seasons as a test competitor for the Alpine F1 Team, having been a former member of the Alpine Academy, while achieving the 2021 F3 Asian Championship while competing for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema. From 2016 to 2018, Zhou competed in Formula 3, where he accumulated two victories and an eighth-place result in the final standings in 2017 and 2018.
“I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou,” Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo, added “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.”
Zhou’s confirmation for next season’s plans completes Alfa Romeo’s two-driver lineup for the upcoming F1 season, with Valtteri Bottas remaining with the organization in a multi-year deal. Bottas, a 10-time Grand Prix race winner who is currently campaigning in his first F1 season with Alfa Romeo, has achieved seven top-10 points-paying results and is ranked in 10th place in the drivers’ standings with 46 points.
With his plans for next season set, Zhou is also set to return to action for this year’s F1 season at Marina Bay Street Circuit for the return of the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, October 2.