(Motorsports news) Despite the fact that Zhou is the first full-time Chinese driver in the F1 series, there have been rumors that he lacks the significant financial backing needed to persuade Alfa Romeo to accept new terms. Alessandro Alunni Bravi, managing director of Alfa Romeo F1, stated that his team hoped to keep Zhou and Valtteri Bottas, who joined from Mercedes for 2022 on a two-year contract with an option to extend through 2024.
However, there is a fight for the position. Theo Pourchaire, a protégé of Alfa, and Felipe Drugovich, the FIA F2 champion and Aston Martin reserve, are both contenders. But Zhou is confident that he will soon sign another contract, ideally for several seasons.
It’s a little more delayed than I anticipated, he remarked. But I believe it is simply a result of my efforts to work out these last points with Alfa Romeo. For example, “In terms of, ‘Why don’t you sign?'” I’m still at a loss for words. However, we are unquestionably talking more about it and drawing closer to completion.
“I’m pleased to be here, spending a growing number of years with this group. Where the squad is going, the future is promising. Rumors that Zhou is short on money were refuted by him with the following statement: “I have personal sponsors and I don’t know the rumors, but I don’t feel I’m lacking any foundations on that side.
It’s not like your first Formula 1 contract; everything is up to the team. The second one goes into slightly more detail. “There’s really nothing to be concerned about. What I demonstrate on the track, in my opinion, is not worthy of being in this paddock.
In light of Audi’s acquisition, Zhou continued, he was more concerned with reaching an agreement with his present team than pursuing other job openings. “Alfa is the priority right now,” he remarked. Few seats are available at this time. I want to stay exactly where I am.
Additionally, there may be a spot open at Williams alongside Alex Albon because the team has not yet made a decision regarding the future of American rookie Logan Sargeant. AlphaTauri has not yet finalized their driver lineup for 2024, thus one of Yuki Tsunoda, Liam Lawson, or Daniel Ricciardo will enter the race.
Confirmed 2024 F1 grid (contracts):
Red Bull: Max Verstappen (2028), Sergio Perez (2024)
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (2025), George Russell (2025)
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc (2024), Carlos Sainz (2024)
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso (2024), Lance Stroll (rolling)
McLaren: Lando Norris (2025), Oscar Piastri (2024)
Alpine: Esteban Ocon (2024), Pierre Gasly (2024)
Williams: Alex Albon (2024), TBC
Haas: Nico Hulkenberg (2024), Kevin Magnussen (2024)
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas (2024), TBC
AlphaTauri: TBC, TBC