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Zhou Guanyu becomes first Chinese driver to race in F1 with Alfa Romeo Racing

Updated:2021-11-17 10:53:57

Formula 1 will embrace its first Chinese racer, Zhou Guanyu, who will drive for Alfa Romeo Racing in 2022.

"Alfa Romeo Racing will have a boost of talent and youthful enthusiasm as Zhou Guanyu joins the team as race driver for the 2022 season. The Chinese youngster, a multiple race winner in the F2 Championship, will make his F1 debut as he lines up on the grid for next season's opener in Bahrain," the team said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Zhou will race alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas, the former Mercedes racer who have clinched multiple podium prizes.

"I dreamed 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's a privilege for me to start my F1 racing career with an iconic team, a team that that has introduced so many young talent to F1 in the past," Zhou said.

"Now the dream is reality, I feel well prepared for the immense challenge of F1, the pinnacle of my sport, alongside a proven, world-class talent in Valtteri Bottas," he continued.

"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 F1 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."

Meanwhile, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing Frederic Vasseur said, "It is a pleasure to welcome Zhou Guanyu to Alfa Romeo Racing. 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 F1."

"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."

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1 Group, said, "The news Zhou Guanyu will be in F1 next season is fantastic for the sport and the millions of passionate Chinese fans who 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."