Chinese star Guanyu Zhou joins the F1 circuit next year at Alfa Romeo replacing Antonio Giovinazzi
The F1 driver list for 2022 is set with the final star being name for the season. There was a lot of speculation regarding the future of Alfa Romeo star Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Italian is in his third full season with the outfit after but has found it tough to take in the points.
He finished 17th in his first two seasons with the team and is currently 18th with one point to his name. However, he has performed rather well in some qualifying sessions this season but his race day pace has been lacking.
Alfa Romeo finally pulled the trigger and confirmed that Chinese star Guanyu Zhou was taking over the seat.
Giovinazzi posted an emotional message on social media about how he is set to leave the F1 grid. The 27-year-old also took a bit of a shot at the current state of F1 by claiming that money dictates what happens and could have hinted that Zhou is a paid driver.
Is Guanyu Zhou a paid driver?
A paid driver in F1 basically means sponsors end up paying for the seat in the team. A lot of backing is needed to break into F1 as talent isn’t enough with only 20 seats per season.
The Chinese star does have a lot of backing from sponsors with one report suggesting sponsors were willing to pay Alfa Romeo $35m for a seat in F1.
There is no doubt that Zhou is a big name in China and this move will only increase the popularity of F1 in the country.
Zhou’s sponsors could end up saving Alfa Romeo from demise, and that could be one huge factor in the decision to replace Giovinazzi.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old Chinese star, who is currently 2nd in the F2 championship had a lot to say to his new fans.
He thanked Alfa Romeo for his chance and also promised to do his best for the upcoming season.
It will be interesting to see how Zhou does next season. A lot of rookies have struggled to make the transition to F1, and this will be a real test of his racing abilities.
More Formula One news:
- Lewis Hamilton doesn’t support IOC’s decision on Black Lives Matter gear during Olympics
- Max Verstappen left surprised as he reaches 100 race milestone with Red Bull
- Damon Hill left in awe after Lewis Hamilton racks up 100 poles in F1 ahead of 2021 Spanish GP
Follow our dedicated Formula One page for instant Formula One news and updates