F1 2022 grid complete as Alfa Romeo announce Guanyu Zhou
The driver line-up for the Formula 1 2022 season is officially complete as Alfa Romeo unveiled Guanyu Zhou as the second half of their team.
Zhou will partner outgoing Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and, in signing for Alfa Romeo, will become China’s first-ever, fully fledged Formula 1 driver.
A former academy driver at Ferrari, Zhou joined the Renault academy in 2019 as a development driver before making the step up to test driver in 2020.
He remained in that role for the 2021 season as Renault relaunched as Alpine and made his first foray into Formula 1 at the Austrian Grand Prix, taking part in the first practice session.
But those ties with Alpine are now broken after being announced as Antonio Giovinazzi’s replacement at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 campaign.
“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 racing 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. 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.
“I wish to thank the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team for this opportunity.
“Next year the target will be to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible.
“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.”
Alfa Romeo boss, Frederic Vasseur, added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Guanyu Zhou to Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.
“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 ORLEN 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.”
With Giovinazzi’s Formula 1 fate now sealed, he is now being reported as the ‘strong favourite’ to move to Dragon Penske in Formula E.
The full F1 driver line-up for the 2022 season is as follows:
Red Bull: Verstappen/Perez
Aston Martin: Vettel/Stroll
Alfa Romeo: Bottas/Zhou
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