REPORTS: Guanyu Zhou to Williams in 2022 as Alpine F1 Search for a ‘Partner Team’

Published 07/15/2021, 8:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


F2 driver Guanyu Zhou recently made the headlines when he took over Fernando Alonso’s Alpine seat during FP1 at the Austrian Grand Prix. And it now looks like he might have his own F1 seat very soon, but now with the French outfit.

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Reports have emerged that, if Zhou wins the F2 championship this season, he could land a seat at Williams F1 in 2022. The current Fp2 championship leader could replace George Russell, should the latter make a move next season.

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Alpine to find a customer team for Zhou: Alpine academy director

As reported by Formula Scout, according to Alpine Academy director Mia Sharizman, it was always the plan for them to find a different team for the Chinese driver. She also explained the plans of the French team for their other academy drivers.

For us, it’s that there will be [the same plan] from the beginning, it’s always to find a partner team, or to find a customer team,” Sharizman confirmed.

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

“My fellow colleagues, my management, we are all working towards looking into whether there is a new team or there is a customer team. So that’s something that is the other side of the business.

“From here onwards, our role is to prepare the drivers to be at the level whereby they can be primed to be selected. That’s the first thing that we do,” said the Alpine academy director.

Guanyu Zhou to replace George Russell at Williams?

It looks likely that George Russell might end up at Mercedes for the 2022 season. Thus, Williams have also started looking at potential replacements for the Briton.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Williams’ George Russell in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat were the front runners for the seat, with a Mercedes-Williams swap, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas, in the mix. But it looks like Williams might offer the seat to F2 championship leader Guanyu Zhou.

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The Chinese driver impressed everyone in his one-off outing to drive Alonso’s Alpine at Austria FP1. The British team looks like a good move for Zhou as the seats at Alpine are currently occupied.

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Will Russell make it to Mercedes next season? If he does, who do you think will get his seat? Let us know in the comments.

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Devang Chauhan

178 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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