Alfa Romeo has confirmed F2 driver, Guanyu Zhou as Valtteri Bottas’s teammate next season – after announcing Antonio Giovinazzi’s exit earlier this morning.
The Chinese driver – who is a multiple race winner in the FIA F2 Championship – will make his debut in Bahrain next March as the first ever Chinese Formula One driver.
The 22-year-old finished second in Italian F4 in 2015, before racking up race victories in Euro F3 and F2.
Zhou is currently in second place in the standings in F2 and is preparing to challenge for the title in the final two events of the season in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Guanyu Zhou to Alfa Romeo Racing,” said Team Principal, Fred Vasseur.
“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 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.”
Guanyu Zhou added: “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.
“It is a privilege for me to start my Formula 1 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 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.”
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “The news Guanyu Zhou will be in F1 next season is fantastic for the sport and the millions of passionate Chinese fans that now have a home hero to cheer all year long. The pyramid in F2 is working and promoting talent to the topflight of motorsport.
“Zhou is an incredible talent, who will be a fantastic addition to the amazing grid we have, and he will entertain and keep all our Chinese fans excited in 2022.”