Zhou Guanyu has made a good impression on the paddock in the first half of his rookie Formula 1 campaign, as he scored a world championship point in Bahrain on his debut, and reached the final segment of qualifying in a wet qualifying session in both Montreal and Silverstone – out-qualifying team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
And whilst Zhou is still out of contract for the 2023 season, he is confident that he is “through” the point of proving himself after good performances in the first 13 rounds, and is “not too worried” about his future:
“I haven’t talked to any teams yet. I’m quite happy and settled down in Alfa Romeo. At the minute, at the beginning of the season, maybe I was worried about my future, but right now, I’m not too worried about the future.
“I feel that I’ve been through the point to prove myself and to be up to speed, and now it’s about to keep it there with better consistency, and then yeah, trying to improve a little bit step by step even more towards the end of the year.
“So far, I’m quite happy working together with this team.”
Zhou insisted he is not worried about his future right now, and his priority is to improve race by race and keep a consistent performance level, as he sees “no reason” why he shouldn’t stay at the Alfa Romeo team for next season:
“Right now, I don’t feel I need to worry about next year, even though I think around summer time, Spa, is the time to talk about the future,” Zhou said.
“But still so far, it’s been quite well settled down, and I feel in general I’m not too worried about [what] is going to be next year, if I’m going to have a seat or not.
“I feel like if I can keep going the way I am, and keep getting better race by race, I see no reason why I shouldn’t stay here.”
Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur praised Zhou’s “perfect job” on track earlier in the season, and speaking before the summer break, he said the Chinese driver should focus on “the next four or five races” and not worry about his future. He also said Zhou “did well” considering all the reliability problems he and the team had to face so far:
“[It’s] important for [Zhou] to be focused on the next four or five races.
“He knows the tracks. I was a bit scared with the sequence of Montreal, Imola, Baku, because he didn’t know all the tracks and they were not easy ones. He did well.
“I think, at this stage, we had too many issues on the reliability side, but he did well. I’m quite confident with the next couple of events that he will quickly learn the track,” Vasseur concluded.