Alfa Romeo F1/Sauber has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will continue to race for the Hinwil squad in 2024.
While Bottas is on a multi-year deal with the team, there were doubts on whether the Swiss outfit would extend Zhou’s contract for a third season.
But ahead of the start of a new era for Sauber – which will race under its own name from 2024 as it readies for Audi’s takeover in 2026 – the team has opted to follow a path of stability.
“The decision to continue our journey with our driver line-up unchanged is testament to the investment we have made in our project,” said team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.
“Nothing in F1 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.”
Alfa has struggled for performance this season and currently sits ninth in F1’s Constructors’ standings with just 10 points to its credit.
But Bottas says the impressive work that is going behind the scenes at Hinwil bodes well for the outfit’s future.
“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,” said the Finn.
“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.”
Zhou, whose third season with Alfa will finally give the Chinese driver a chance to race in front of his home crowd when the Chinese Grand Prix returns to F1’s schedule next year, echoed his teammate’s optimistic view regarding Sauber’s future.
“Signing again with the team is always a great feeling, especially when we know how things are shaping up,” he said. “I am proud to be part of Alfa Romeo 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.”
As part of its announcement, Alfa Romeo F1 also announced the extension of its relationship with 2023 FIA F2 championship leader Théo Pourchaire as one of its reserve drivers.
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