China’s Zhou Guanyu will stay in Formula 1 for another year at least after his team, Alfa Romeo, confirmed his contract extension meaning the rookie driver will get another year on the grid.
Having a Chinese driver on the grid bodes financially well for both the F1 and the Alfa Romeo team especially with the Chinese Grand Prix set to make its return next year during F1’s 24-race calendar.
“From day one with the team, at the Abu Dhabi test last year, he has impressed me with his approach to work and this is always a very positive trait,” said team boss Frederic Vasseur in a statement.
“We knew he was quick, but the way he adapted to Formula One in such a short time has been one of the best surprises of our season. He is a very nice guy, everyone in the team likes both his personality and attitude.
“He has had the humility to ask questions and learn, from the engineers as well as Valtteri, and the intelligence to apply all the information he got to improve race after race.”
The 23-year-old has so far scored six points from 16 races in his debut season with his much-experienced teammate Valtteri Bottas raking in 46. The Finnish driver had expressed his hope of continuing with Zhou by his side.
With Zhou Guanyu staying at Alfa Romeo the next year’s drive availability dips further. Daniel Ricciardo has missed out on another seat after his split with McLaren while Alpine needs to replace double world champion, Fernando Alonso.
Williams and Haas, who are yet to decide Mick Schumacher’s fate, remain the only teams without a full lineup for next year.