The Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team ( Sauber F1 team from 2024) revealed in advance of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, that Zhou Guanyu would continue with the team in 2024. Zhou, who made history as China's first F1 driver in 2022, will continue to team up with Valtteri Bottas for a third consecutive year. Alfa Romeo faced a decision between Zhou and their junior driver Théo Pourchaire, who now holds the top position in the Formula 2 championship. Next year, Sauber will no longer be using the Alfa moniker as their team's title sponsor. In 2026, the Swiss team is scheduled to undergo a transformation and rebranding, adopting the name Audi. As a result of Zhou's agreement, just three potential spots on the 2024 grid remain open. Alfa Romeo has further declared that Theo Pourchaire, the current leader of the F2 championship, would continue in his position as reserve driver for the 2024 season.
F1: Alfa Romeo and Zhou Guanyu
In 2022, Zhou made his F1 debut with the Swiss team, where he promptly scored a point in his maiden race in Bahrain and has continued to improve steadily since then. According to the team, the individual's second year was characterised by a notable level of maturity and a systematic approach, which garnered more support from within the team. Therefore, a new agreement was reached, which was seen as a logical outcome as the individual strives for future progress.
On his 2024 drive confirmation, Zhou said, "Signing again with the team is always a great feeling, especially when we know how things are shaping up. I am proud to be part of Alfa Romeo and grateful for their trust. I have been working extremely hard since day one and there is an incredible level of motivation to keep doing so every day forward. My relationship with Valtteri is really good, and we are working closely together and with the team to push everyone forward. I am also very excited about the opportunity to finally race with my team in China, in front of my home crowd. It will be a great moment and I’m proud to be able to share it with all those who have supported me.”
Having confirmed Alfa Romeo's full lineup for 2024, Team Representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said, “The decision to continue our journey with our driver line-up unchanged is a testament to the investment we have made in our project. Nothing in Formula 1 changes overnight, and we have taken a conscious decision to focus on stability and to keep building our team up together as we embark on an important period of transition. Valtteri and Zhou are drivers of known talent and skill and they work really well together: they are well-matched and can push each other.”
F1: Alfa Romeo’s 2023 Season so Far
In 2024, Audi is expected to increase its investment in the team previously known as Sauber in preparation for a complete takeover of the Swiss outfit in 2026. In the Constructors' Championship standings from the previous year, Alfa Romeo finished in sixth place with 55 points. Alfa earned 51 of their total points in the first nine races since they were one of the few teams to consistently stay under the minimum weight restriction throughout the whole season. Throughout the course of the season, other teams successfully managed to decrease the excess weight of their cars, resulting in the Hinwil-based team being relegated to the lowest position on the starting grid. This unfavourable standing has persisted chiefly in the year 2023.
Alfa Romeo attained its most remarkable individual accomplishment through a partnership with Sauber during the 2019 campaign, as shown by Kimi Raikkonen's attainment of a fourth-place position at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The driver who won the World Championship in 2007 achieved a total of 57 points across a span of three seasons while working with the Alfa Romeo-Sauber F1 team, establishing himself as the most accomplished driver for the team during that period.