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“I am glad I left Alpine”: $1 Million a year F1 driver shares how he avoided Oscar Piastri-like situation by leaving Alpine

Tejas Venkatesh
|Fri Aug 05 2022

Alfa Romeo F1 driver, Zhou Guanyu shares how he made the right decision to leave Alpine after foreseeing a situation like Oscar Piastri in 2021.

The Oscar Piastri situation has been the buzz amongst F1’s fan community. The future of the reigning F2 Champion is still unclear as both Alpine and McLaren seem to have signed the Aussie.

But another former Alpine Academy driver foresaw all the drama unfold. The current Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu says he took the right decision to leave Alpine.

The Chinese driver has been with the Alpine Driver Academy since he entered the F2 championship in 2019. And Zhou quit the academies services in 2022, before moving to Alfa Romeo.


Zhou is currently the only rookie in the F1 grid for the 2022 season. And he claims there was no possible racing slot available to him with Alpine. And thus, he moved to Alfa who guaranteed him a spot.

Zhou says, “I was completely liberated. It all worked out very well because my contract ended at the end of last year and it was up to the two of us if we wanted to continue, but then an opportunity arose with Alfa.”

He adds, “It wasn’t the best for me. I feel like there was an opportunity here, so I took the chance and I think it was a very good decision.“So the deal was definitely not to continue with Alpine, because I didn’t see any place where I could get a seat for next year or for this year.”

Also Read: Alpine boss has no issue bringing back its old $25 Million driver from McLaren

What is the situation with Oscar Piastri?

Oscar Piastri is stuck in limbo between Alpin and McLaren for a seat in the 2023 F1 season. Alpine posted a statement replacing Fernando Alonso with Piastri for the upcoming season.

But the statement came without any quotes from Piastri. And the Aussie denied he signed any contract with the F1 team for 2023. He also stated that he “will not be driving for Alpine.”

Piastri is also a reserve driver for Mclaren. And the British team are keen on replacing Daniel Ricciardo with Piastri for the next season. This comes despite Ricciardo’s commitment to McLaren till 2023 season end.


The two teams have signed some agreements with the 21-year-old. And as the F1 summer break unfolds,  it will be clear where Piastri will race in the next season

Zhou Guanyu raced Piastri in the 2021 F2 season. The two know each other from their days in F2. Zhou and Piastri have even tested for Alpine as a part of their Young driver programme. But Zhou says he was wise in avoiding a situation like the laters.

The 23- year-old, “It was not easy to get out of Alpine. But I’m really happy that everything went well. Because if I had another year out I would be stuck, like Oscar Piastri.

Also Read:  How the 41-year old blocked Oscar Piastri’s move to Alpine

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