Zhou: Bottas a great reference and a strong teammateGuanyu Zhou, the only rookie to feature on the 2022 Formula 1 grid, will partner Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo, and believes the Finn will be great reference for him and a very strong teammate.

Zhou became China’s first F1 driver when he was announced at Alfa Romeo back in November, as the team features an all new driver lineup as Valtteri Bottas replaced the retiring Kimi Raikkonen, with the Chinese rookie taking the seat of Antonio Giovinazzi who was shown the door after 62 uninspiring races with the Swiss-based team.

Speaking to the social media, Zhou expressed his delight for sharing the garage with Bottas, he said: “For a rookie, there is no better option than to have Bottas as your teammate in your first season.

“If I’m going to beat him, I know I need to work very hard and adapt very quickly to the whole of F1, and to the new car, from the very beginning.

“But I think what’s more important is that he can help me get through the learning curve,” Zhou went on. “He is a very open driver. He shares his information and discusses with the team and with me, which is a very helpful point.

“After all, he’s had so many podiums and wins in F1. Among all the drivers, there are only a few who can outqualify Hamilton, and he is one of them.

“I think he’s a great reference and a very strong teammate. I hope to improve together with him next year,” the 22-year old revealed.

Zhou’s small goal for 2022

Zhou, who will be given time to improve as per his team boss Frederic Vasseur, will not be shooting for the stars in his debut F1 season, but has set himself a modest target of scoring points.

“First of all, I set a small goal to get points,” he said. “I don’t know how competitive the car will be next season. We need to wait until the beginning of the season to get a clear picture.

“Personally, I would like to get points,” Zhou admitted. “But at the beginning of the season, I won’t be thinking if it will be achievable at the first two races; just not to have too much pressure.

“I want to enjoy racing in F1, to learn from my teammate and the engineers, and improve myself in all aspects.

“When I make improvement in all areas, the results will then naturally come,” he concluded.

Zhou will join F1 on the back of an F2 season where he finished third overall with five wins to his name.

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