Alfa Romeo Signs “Trailblazer” Guanyu Zhou, China’s First F1 Driver | Formula 1 News

Guanyue Zhou will become China’s first Formula One driver after Alfa Romeo announced on Tuesday that the 22-year-old would drive for the team next season. Zhou is making waves in Formula Two and replaces Antonio Giovinazzi with Valtteri Bottas moving on to replace retired Kimi Raikkonen from Mercedes. “Becoming the first Chinese driver in Formula 1 is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history,” said Zhou. “I know a lot of expectations will be pinned on me and as always, I will take this as inspiration to become better and achieve more.”

Alfa Romeo described their new signing as “a trailblazer who will write an important page in their country’s motorsport history”.

Zhou has already tasted F1 as a test driver for Alpine and has long been noted as a step up from F2.

“I dreamed of climbing as high as I could in a sport I’m passionate about and now that dream has come true,” Alfa Romeo quoted Zhou, educated in Britain, as saying.

“It is a privilege to start my Formula 1 racing career with an iconic team, a team that has in the past brought so many young talents to Formula 1. Now the dream is a reality.”

Zhou has enjoyed a successful year in F2, and is second and more challenging for the title with races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to come.

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur said he believed Zhou would establish “a very successful partnership with Valtteri”.

As well as the arrival of “a very talented driver” Vasseur “welcomed all the new Chinese fans who would join the team”.

Zhou’s promotion came when Alfa Romeo announced that Italian Giovinazzi would leave at the end of the 2021 championship in December.

“Saying goodbye to a driver is never easy, especially in the case of Antonio, who has been part of the team for so long,” said Vasseur.

Giovinazzi’s best performance in three seasons with the Swiss-based team is fifth at the 2019 Brazil Grand Prix.

He has a dot on his name for this position with the three castes to come.

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Rikk√∂nen have 10 points, making the Swiss-based team ninth in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of Haas, who have not scored a single point.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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