Alfa Romeo F1 Replacing Antonio Giovinazzi With Chinese Driver Guanyu Zhou for 2022

We kept wondering about who will join Valtteri Bottas next year at Alfa Romeo Racing, and whether the Swiss-owned outfit will extend Antonio Giovinazzi’s contract or simply go in another direction, either with a more experienced driver or somebody even younger. Today, we finally have answers to all those questions.
Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi 6 photos
Photo: Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio GiovinazziGuanyu Zhou
Antonio Giovinazzi will leave the team at the end of this year, following three seasons behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo-branded car. He has taken part in 59 races with the Swiss-Italian team thus far, including two for Sauber back in 2017 when he replaced injured Pascal Wehrlein.

His best-ever result as an Alfa Romeo driver came during the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix when he finished P5. Also, despite only having 1 point to his name in 2021, he still managed to make Q3 on multiple occasions this year.

“Alfa Romeo is extremely grateful to Antonio Giovinazzi for his strong contribution to the team over the years, not just from a sporting point of view. Antonio has embodied the Italian spirit of the Brand, being an authentic ambassador every day,” said Alfa Romeo CEO, Jean Philippe Imparato.

Giovinazzi’s replacement at Alfa Romeo Racing is 22-year-old Guanyu Zhou, who’s set to become the first Chinese driver in Formula 1 history. Zhou is a multiple-race winner in the FIA F2 Championship, having also finished second in Italian F4 in 2015, before moving up to F3 and F2. The young Chinese star is currently second in F2 standings and can still win the title with two races left to go.

“I wish to thank the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team for this opportunity. Next year the target will be to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible. To be the first ever Chinese driver in Formula 1 is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history. I know a lot of hopes will be resting on me and, as ever, I will take this as motivation to become better and achieve more,” said Zhou, who will likely participate in winter testing for Alfa Romeo after the 2021 season concludes.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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