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Guanyu Zhou ‘becomes first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1’

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Guanyu Zhou ‘will become the first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo eager to see him partner with Valtteri Bottas’ amid uncertainty over Antonio Giovinazzi’s future

  • Guanyu Zhou will reportedly sign for Alfa Romeo next season
  • Zhou, 22, has impressed in Formula 2 as part of Alpine’s driver program
  • Alfa Romeo considering replacing Antonio Giovinazzi as their number 2
  • Zhou would become the first Chinese driver to race in F1 if signed











Guanyu Zhou will become the first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1, with Alfa Romeo looking to partner the Formula 2 star with Valtteri Bottas, The Sun reports.

The 22-year-old Shanghai native has caught the eye of Alfa Romeo who has impressed in F2 this season, where he is currently second in the drivers’ standings.

Zhou is part of the Alpine Young Driver program but The Sun claims they are willing to let him go as they currently have no plans to replace Fernando Alonso or Esteban Ocon.

Guanyu Zhou reportedly becomes the first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1

That has opened the door for Alfa Romeo to break through. The Italian team has already confirmed Mercedes star Bottas as their number 1 driver for next year, replacing Kimi Raikkonen.

Their number 2 slot, currently occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi, is the only seat on the grid that will not be cemented and Zhou will reportedly replace the Italian.

If signed by Alfa Romeo, Zhou will become only the second driver from mainland China to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, after Ma Quinghua drove five practice sessions with HRT and Caterham in 2012 and 2013.

The 22-year-old has impressed in Formula 2 and attracts interest from Alfa Romeo

The 22-year-old has impressed in Formula 2 and attracts interest from Alfa Romeo

Antonio Giovinazzi's position is in jeopardy as the team looks for partner Valtteri Bottas

Antonio Giovinazzi’s position is in jeopardy as the team looks for partner Valtteri Bottas

Despite mounting pressure on his position, 27-year-old Giovinazzi has insisted that his focus remains on getting as many points as possible for his team in the remaining eight races of this season.

“To be honest, for now I want to focus on keeping this seat in Formula 1,” Giovinazzi said via PlanetF1.

‘In the worst case scenario, I would start thinking about next year. But for now I just want to focus on my job here in F1 and try to keep my seat.

“All I can do is just drive and get more points and I hope that’s enough.”

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