Guanyu Zhou is set to be China’s first driver in Formula 1 with a move to Alfa Romeo next season to replace Antonio Giovinazzi.
Zhou, a Renault academy driver, is having a terrific F2 season and finds himself second in the standings after wins at Monaco, Bahrain, and Silverstone.
This has certainly impressed Alfa Romeo, apart from the fact that he is set to bring sponsors worth millions from China. It is still unclear if this will have any bearing on Robert Kubica’s association with the team through ORLEN.
Zhou has been on the fringes of F1 this season, having done an in-season test for Alpine at Hungary, and also driving for them in FP1 in Austria.
For those unaware, Ferrari does not have the right to select Alfa Romeo’s second driver anymore. As for the first one, Valtteri Bottas has already been confirmed to replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.
☎️ 🤝 | Zhou is set to be confirmed with Alfa Romeo. Seems to be deal-done.
— Sergio Rodríguez (@sergiorf97) September 9, 2021
Giovinazzi focusing on himself amid Zhou to Alfa Romeo speculation
Antonio Giovinazzi, also a Ferrari Academy product, has been a reliable presence for partner team Alfa Romeo. But it seems to be coming to an end, with Alfa Romeo going for a fresh line-up.
The Italian is not too bothered, though, as he admits it is not in his hands. He just wants to focus on his season, and finish strongly, something that will open up opportunities for the talented driver.
“Nothing yet – I have no news yet, I just knew that Valtteri will be in Alfa next year but from my side, no news yet.
“Of course I want to know as soon as possible but it’s not my decision. I’ve said this many times already, I know there is a lot of rumours but it is not my decision.
“So my focus is more on my performance, to do my best result in the race, in the qualifying and everything and then see what will happen.
“For sure it’s always been the same September from my side over these last three years. There was always some rumours for the next year.
“For me, I don’t want to focus much on these because it’s just losing energy. I want to focus more on performance on myself and try to do my best.”