Alfa Romeo Racing Team Picks First Formula 1 Driver From China
(Bloomberg) -- Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen has chosen Guanyu Zhou to join its team, making him the first Chinese national to become a full-time Formula 1 driver.
The 22-year-old will start next year joining teammate Valtteri Bottas. He’ll make is debut at next season’s opening race in Bahrain, Alfa Romeo Racing said Tuesday.
“We are also looking forward to welcoming all the new Chinese fans who will join the team,” team principal Frederic Vasseur said in a statement. “We will do our utmost to make the experience of our sport a great one in China.”
The move comes as Alfa Romeo’s parent Stellantis NV, the automaker formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, is working on a strategy to turn around disappointing sales in China, the worlds’ biggest passenger car market. Out of the 3.6 million vehicles the company sold worldwide in the first half, only roughly 50,000 were delivered in China.
After halting the Shanghai Grand Prix due to the pandemic, the race is planned to resume in 2023.
Alfa Romeo Racing is run by Switzerland’s Sauber Motorsport AG with the car brand acting as its main sponsor.
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