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Bottas' 'huge F1 experience' will ease pressure on rookie Zhou

Bottas' 'huge F1 experience' will ease pressure on rookie Zhou

F1 News

Bottas' 'huge F1 experience' will ease pressure on rookie Zhou

Bottas' 'huge F1 experience' will ease pressure on rookie Zhou
Ian Parkes & Topher Smith

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur believes Valtteri Bottas' "huge experience of F1" will prove crucial in taking the considerable pressure off the shoulders of rookie Guanyu Zhou.

Alfa Romeo elected to completely revise its driver line-up for the forthcoming season, hiring former Mercedes driver Bottas to replace Kimi Raikkonen while F2 race-winner Zhou graduated to F1 in place of the Formula E-bound Antonio Giovinazzi.

Vasseur feels it was "the right moment" to sign new drivers as the sport enters into a new era, with Bottas' experience the perfect compliment to the youth of Zhou who bears the weight of an expectant nation as he becomes China's first F1 driver.

"For me, it is not an issue at all to start with a new line-up this season but at least it was very important to have someone with a huge experience of F1, and with Valtteri we have that," said Vasseur.

“He will be supportive with Zhou. The collaboration is more than good so far between them, they are really collaborating very well and that is important for Zhou."

Vasseur confident in Zhou's approach to maiden season

Vasseur has no doubt that with Bottas alongside him, 22-year-old Zhou will head into the campaign with the right mindset.

“We don’t have to put pressure on Zhou’s shoulders," added Vasseur.

"F1 is a huge step, not only on driving - and the driving is not far away from F2 - but to know about the management of everything including the media.

“I’m confident because his approach is a good one. He is positive, has an open mind and let’s see.”

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