“We are convinced we can get the best out of him”: Alfa Romeo boss compares Guanyu Zhou’s F1 entry to Max Verstappen’s
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur insists that Guanyu Zhou’s relative lack of experience won’t affect the team’s performance.
Zhou’s move to Alfa Romeo was made official last November, when it was announced that he’d be replacing Antonio Giovinazzi at the team. He will team up with former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in 2022.
The Chinese driver competed in the Formula 2 Championship from 2019-2021. He never won the Championship in his F2 stint, but managed a 3rd place finish in 2021.
Alfa Romeo enter the new season with a completely new driver line-up of Bottas and Zhou. On one hand, Bottas is one of the most experienced drivers on track, having won 10 races during his five years at Mercedes. On the other hand, Zhou is new to the world of F1 and has little time to adjust before the start of the season.
Team Principal Frederic Vasseur however, is not worried about the 22-years old lack of experience.
“We all know that F1 is a huge challenge. We also have a new car and only three days of testing per driver, but he is a smart driver,” he said.
Zhou enters F1 with little experience, just like Max Verstappen did, says the Alfa Romeo boss
Verstappen made his F1 debut in 2015 for Toro Rosso. His entry into the sport was very quick, as he only made his single-seater racing debut three years prior. Since then, the Red Bull driver has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top, winning the 2021 F1 World Championship.
“We are convinced that we can develop the skills of a young driver and get the best out of Zhou,” Vasseur continued.
“Max came into F1 without huge experience. Also Charles (Leclerc) did well in his first season, (George) Russell and (Lando) Norris did well in his first season. That means it’s possible.”
“Of course, we have different tools than before, such as the simulator. However, I also think that young kids are much more mature today than they were 20 years ago. They are ready faster today,” he concluded.