Guanyu Zhou, the pilot to whom Fernando Alonso gave the alternative in the Austrian Grand Prix, he could have a chance in Formula 1 in 2022. The renewal of the Asturian for a season and that of Esteban Ocon until 2024, push Guanyu Zhou out of the Alpine and everything seems to indicate that his future passes through Alfa Romeo.
Despite the good results of Antonio Giovinazzi in the last races, Alfa Romeo plans to change its line-up completely for 2022. For now, it has already signed Valtteri Bottas as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, who will retire at the end of this year. On who will be his teammate, Fréd Vasseur, team manager Alfa Romeo, has indicated that he will wait to see the outcome of “junior categories”. Talking about Guanyu Zhou, is second in Formula 2 to 15 points from Oscar Piastri. In favor of his arrival at Alfa Romeo, in addition to being endorsed by Alpine and Fernando Alonso, he plays that his representatives have made an offer of several million euros to be chosen.
And it is that the Chinese pilot has important economic support and is an important commercial claim in Asia. That is why Alpine I would see with good eyes to give in to Alfa Romeo Guanyu Zhou to test if it can be the future replacement of Fernando Alonso.
Alonso, the mirror of Guanyu Zhou
The pilot of 22 years He was trained at the Ferrari Academy until in 2019 he became part of the Renault Sport Academy. Since then he has competed in Formula 2 with the UNI-Virtuosi Racing team. Guanyu Zhou took the victory last season in Sochi becoming the first Chinese to win a single-seater race. In this course he has won in Bahrain, Monaco and Silverstone, a good job that Alpine wanted to reward with the help of Fernando Alonso.
The two-time champion agreed to lower his car in Free Practice 1 of the Austrian Grand Prix so that Guanyu Zhou could participate. The Asian became the first Chinese to get into a Formula 1 in free practice since Ma Qing Hua did it nine years ago.
“Riding the first free practice of a Grand Prix weekend is like a dream come true and another step towards my ultimate goal, which is to become a Formula 1 driver”, He declared. “It’s going to be even more special because of driving Fernando’s car, as he inspired me to try to be a driver. racing when I was young, ”added Guanyu Zhou, alluding to Alonso.
In the absence of Alfa Romeo deciding whether to provide an opportunity in Formula 1 to Guanyu Zhou, Ferrari will press for the Swiss team to renew its confidence in Antonio Giovinazzi. At the moment in Maranello they have confirmed that he will be their reserve pilot in 2022. “Giovinazzi remains as our reserve pilot, the first alternative to the headlines. It is showing growth every year and I hope you can stay in AlfaHe deserves it ”, declared Mattia Binotto, head of the Ferrari team.