REPORT: Zhou & Alfa Romeo at War as Door Opens for Oscar Piastri to Make 2022 F1 Debut

Published 10/06/2021, 5:14 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica during practice REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


After an electrifying couple of months, the driver’s market has finally settled down with almost all of the teams unveiling their line-ups for the 2022 season. And all that remains is that one seat at Alfa Romeo. Of course, it looked like Guanyu Zhou would be swooping down to grab it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Not only is the Chinese driver talented enough to race in F1, but he is also bringing in almost $25 million to secure a multi-year deal, according to Blick Sport.

One might think a mid-field team like Alfa Romeo would get attracted to such a pile of funds. However, Alfa Romeo’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur, isn’t really impressed by Zhou’s demands.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Race winner Guanyu Zhou of China and UNI-Virtuosi Racing celebrates on the podium during the Round 4:Silverstone feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Early on, rumors suggested that Zhou was demanding a 2-year deal with the team, but the number has just gone up to 3. Of course, this is pretty much impractical, considering this would put Theo Pouchaire’s F1 future in question. So, what’re the options now?

Well, interestingly, Alfa Romeo’s interest is drastically falling onto the high-flying Australian driver, Oscar Piastri. The 20-year-old has been on an absolute peak this season in Formula 2.

DIVE DEEPER

After Equaling Leclerc & Russell’s Record Feat, Here’s Why Oscar Piastri Deserves an F1 Seat

28 days ago

Does Oscar Piastri deserve the pending Alfa Romeo F1 seat?

Certainly! Oscar has been quite exemplary, and a lot have already hailed the Australian to be the future world champion. Managed by former F1 driver, Mark Webber, the Prema Racing driver has shown immense resilience since Formula 3.

Oscar breezed past Pouchaire in F3 to secure the championship title in his very first attempt. And after moving to F2 now, the Australian is already 36 points ahead of second-placed Zhou with just 2 race weekends to go.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hence, Alfa Romeo’s concerns over signing Zhou couldn’t have come at a perfect time, with the outfit having a driver like Oscar as a back-up.

Race winner Oscar Piastri of Australia and Prema Racing celebrates on the podium during Round 5:Monza feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Webber is having his own concerns; Oscar is certain to become the F2 world champion this season. And if he does, he will lose the eligibility to race in F2 again. Hence, the 8-time Grand Prix winner is worried that Oscar’s career could stall at F2.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Overall, the fight for an F1 seat is back on! But, this time, between two rookies. So, who do you think deserves the seat more – Guanyu Zhou or Oscar Piastri?

Watch Story: Biggest Pitlane Mishaps Featuring Hamilton, Raikkonen & Verstappen

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Rohit Kumar

1279 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT