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Alfa Romeo Zhou contract a "big bang" to F1 system

Alfa Romeo Zhou contract a "big bang" to F1 system

F1 News

Alfa Romeo Zhou contract a "big bang" to F1 system

Alfa Romeo Zhou contract a "big bang" to F1 system
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur believes the decision to hire Guanyu Zhou for this year will bring a "big bang" to F1's system.

Zhou will become the first Chinese driver to race in the highest echelon of single-seater motorsport when partnering Valtteri Bottas in a new-look lineup for Alfa Romeo, who finished ninth in 2021's constructors' standings.

The Chinese market is one F1 has been attempting to break for over two decades, with the introduction of the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai only partially piquing interest in the country.

With numerous sponsors expected to follow Zhou into the sport, however, Vasseur believes there is now a big opportunity for F1 to take advantage of the F2 front-runner's signing.

Asked by GPFans if the initial interest from sponsors had been from Chinese or European companies, Vasseur said: "You know the first feeling is that okay, I will go on the Chinese market, but I think it's quite ambitious, quite difficult.

"We had some contact the day after the announcement, mainly from European companies who want to go on the Chinese market.

"I'm not doing the job for F1 or for the other teams. I also think it will mean a huge opportunity for F1, for every single team, but the exposure will explode.

"It will be a big bang to the system. We have to take it as an opportunity for everybody. We are pushing like hell to improve in this area.

"But we have to avoid the misunderstanding the final target is always the performance."

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