Alfa Romeo Sauber has announced the retention of both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu for the 2024 F1 season, as Theo Pourchaire will be reserve.
While Bottas already had a contract with Alfa Romeo Sauber for 2024, the Swiss F1 outfit has decided to end speculation and extend Guanyu’s contract for another year. The Chinese racer made his debut with them in 2022 and gets his third season with them.
He wasn’t likely to be replaced until the summer break when rumours started floating about others getting a look in. But ahead of this weekend’s Singapore GP, Alfa Romeo Sauber have confirmed him to continue on for at least one more season.
Along with the regular drivers, they have also confirmed Pourchaire as its reserve, who is currently fighting for the 2023 F2 championship with one round to go. The Frenchman was one of the names in the reckoning but will remain in reserve capacity for now.
“Signing again with the team is always a great feeling, especially when we know how things are shaping up,” said Guanyu after extending his conytract. “I am proud to be part of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 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.”
Bottas, who already had a contract for 2024, noted: “I have a feeling we have an exciting journey ahead of us, so I am happy and grateful to be able to look forward to 2024 knowing how the team is shaping up. There is a good atmosphere within our squad, I get along with Zhou and we both push each other hard to improve.
“There is an impressive amount of work going on behind the scenes, in Hinwil and beyond, and now that the line-up is set for next year, we can focus fully on improving, starting this weekend in Singapore already. Every step forward we make is a step forward for this year and next, so we are motivated to give everything we have every time we’re trackside or at the factory.”
Having been a reserve this year, Pourchaire continues on for 2024 and he is happy with the role. “Over the years, the team has become a family to me and, therefore, I am really happy and grateful to continue my journey with Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake and the Sauber Academy,” he said.
“The support I have received from everyone in the team has been outstanding, and I’m proud to be able to contribute to the growth of the whole operation. I have a lot in me I can give to this special group of people and I’m looking forward to the future. Of course, a great way to say thank you would be to finish the job in F2 in Abu Dhabi – I’ll give everything to bring it home for the team.”
And finally, team boss Alessandro Alunni Bravi added: “The decision to continue our journey with our driver line-up unchanged is testament to the investment we have made in our project. Nothing in Formula One 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.
“Valtteri has taken a real leader’s role within the team, pushing us all to give our best; Zhou has made impressive steps forward in the last two years and we expect him to continue on this trajectory in 2024. Now the baton is back to us – we have to give both drivers a good car and put them in the best conditions to perform. Finally, I am happy that Théo will remain with the team for 2024 as one of our reserve drivers: he has done an incredible job this year, not just in F2, where we will all support him as he fights for the title in Abu Dhabi, but also behind the scenes, working with the team in Hinwil.”
Here’s Valtteri Bottas on point in Monza