REPORTS: Alpine F1 Junior Eyeing 2022 Seats at Williams & Alfa Romeo

Published 08/23/2021, 11:13 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra


Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou is looking to make his debut in Formula One in 2022. The F2 championship leader is a part of the Alpine Driver Academy and even replaced Fernando Alonso in FP1 at the Austrian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, it looks like that he won’t be entering the sport with the French outfit.

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Alpine are likely to keep their current drivers’ lineup of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso. The decision would mean that academy drivers such as Zhou can look to enter F1 with different teams in the paddock.

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What are the options for the Alpine academy driver for 2022?

Since F1 is introducing new regulations in the 2022 season, most of the teams are retaining their current lineup. The 2022 season is a great unknown for the teams, which is why they want experienced drivers to help improve their chances.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The only possible options for the Chinese driver are Alfa Romeo and Williams. These are the only teams that might have a seat for the next season. It is very likely that George Russell could leave Williams for Mercedes, which would mean a vacant seat at the British team.

But a more plausible option for Zhou is Alfa Romeo. The Swiss team might have two vacant seats at the end of the season as both its current drivers’ contracts expire in 2021. There are no signs or reports suggesting that Alfa Romeo is looking to continue with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

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Guanyu Zhou to profit Formula One massively

As reported by Motorsport, since Liberty Media bought the F1 in 217, they have looked to globalize the sport even more. The owners have targeted markets such as the USA and the Middle East. If Zhou enters the sport, F1 would have an even stronger base in the Chinese market.

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Formula One already hosts the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai every season and the debut of Zhou would gain more attention from the country; having a Chinese driver on the grid could open up the possibility of another race in the country as well as boost ticket sales for the existing GP. Liberty Media will be paying close attention to negotiations surrounding Zhou.

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Devang Chauhan

344 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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