Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas says that he hopes his new team-mate, Guanya Zhou, “will develop quickly” during his rookie season in Formula 1.
Bottas has joined the Alfa Romeo F1 team on a multi-year contract ahead of this season, saying goodbye to Mercedes after five years with the Brackley team.
Replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, the Finnish racer will team up with this year’s only rookie, Zhou.
Already the Chinese driver has stated that there is “no better option” for him to have as a team-mate in his first season than Bottas, the Finn having played a played a crucial part in Mercedes success from 2017-2021.
Alfa Romeo have made it clear that Bottas will be the lead driver with the Swiss-based outfit, but he hopes it won’t be long before Zhou is helping drive the team forward.
“As a driver, your first year in F1 is never easy,” he said as per The Race.
“There’s always lots of things to learn. But nowadays, every team is so professional there are lots of people that the drivers, they get so much support, so much coaching and help that I’m sure that he will develop quickly.”
Welcome to the team, @ValtteriBottas! ???? pic.twitter.com/vD6yfRHT5y
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) January 1, 2022
He added: “He seems really hungry to learn more and do well. And we’ll work as a team.
“Every team-mate that I’ve had I’ve always been able to work well with them. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with him.”
Bottas has already completed his first laps in an Alfa Romeo F1 team car, taking part in the end-of-season test following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Zhou has some Formula 1 experience having spent time as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy before joining Renault’s young driver programme where he tested for the team alongside Fernando Alonso in Abu Dhabi in 2020.
The Alfa Romeo F1 team has yet to confirm launch plans for their 2022 car.
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