Zhou Guanyu says things are looking positive about staying with Alfa Romeo in F1 2023 despite the recent slump in their results.
Having made his debut with Alfa Romeo this year amid backlash from fans since F2 champion Oscar Piastri didn’t find a seat, Guanyu has answered many of the critics with his performances in his rookie F1 season where he has done relatively well.
He has shown good pace both in qualifying and races, and has scored points too. There have been mistakes from his side, but to a larger extent he has faced loads of reliability issues. As of now, he hasn’t signed a new deal to stay with Alfa Romeo in 2023.
But Guanyu is confident about a new one as talks are on with the management. His likely replacement Theo Pourchaire has had a mixed 2022 F2 season where despite being in title contention, the Frenchman has had an inconsistent run in overall picture.
“We’re talking about it,” said Guanyu when asked about a deal. “And there’s no hurry, myself and the team are very happy for each other, the job we’ve done so far. It wasn’t an easy season, let’s say, for the rookie campaign. But for my side, I’m quite happy working with everyone in the team. And yeah, we’re talking about it.
“Nothing has been confirmed but hopefully I get more information soon, and I get it all done,” summed up Guanyu, who has six points to be 17th in the drivers’ standings. At the same time, Alfa Romeo is sixth with 52 points and is likely to finish in the same place.
The gap to McLaren is large to take a step forward, but the gap behind is less to lose the position. It will depend on how Alfa Romeo performs and how much the likes of Haas, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin can extract in the remaining six races.
When asked about the team’s dip in form, Guanyu reckoned the tracks hasn’t suited their car off-late and the advantage they had seems to be lost. “I mean points is of course, still there and as we saw, especially in tracks like Monza: low downforce, a lot of overtaking opportunities hopefully,” he said.
“And, yeah, it’s quite true to say that we’re not having the advantage we had earlier of the season, where I think we was very good on the weight, saving a lot of that, and now people are catching up, and we’re being maybe not as fast as others, in terms of reductions. But we’re still there, like in Zandvoort, we saw on-tenth could be up to three positions or more. So, in that midfield battle, it’s all about putting everything together in the in the car,” summed up Guanyu.