Sports

Guanyu Zhou signs for Alfa Romeo, becomes China’s first F1 driver


(FILES) This photo taken on July 13, 2019 shows Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu reacting after taking third place at a feature race during the seventh round of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 championship at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, United Kingdom.

(FILES) This photo taken on July 13, 2019 shows Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu reacting after taking third place at a feature race during the seventh round of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 championship at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, United Kingdom. (Photo by AFP) / China OUT

Guanyu Zhou will become China’s first ever Formula One driver after Alfa Romeo announced on Tuesday the 22-year-old would drive for the team.

Zhou has been making waves in Formula Two this season and will team up with Valtteri Bottas, who will be moving from Mercedes.

“To be the first ever Chinese driver in Formula 1 is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history,” said Zhou.

“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.”

Zhou’s promotion came as Alfa Romeo announced that Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi would leave at the end of the 2021 championship in December.

Alfa Romeo described their new signing as “a trailblazer who will write a pivotal page of his country’s motorsport history.”

Zhou has already had a taste of F1 as a test driver for Alpine and has long been mentioned as making the step up from F2.

“I dreamt from a young age of climbing as high as I can in a sport that I am passionate about and now the dream has come true,” Alfa Romeo quoted Zhou, who was educated in Britain, as saying.

“It is a privilege for me to start my Formula 1 racing career with an iconic team, a team that has introduced so much young talent into Formula 1 in the past. Now the dream is reality.”

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