Guanyu Zhou, Robert Kubica, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Barcelona, 2022

Bottas ‘ready to give Zhou the support he will need’ during rookie season

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says he will support rookie team mate Guanyu Zhou as much as possible at Alfa Romeo this season

In brief

Bottas will help Zhou “as much as I can” during rookie season

Valtteri Bottas says he will support rookie team mate Guanyu Zhou as much as possible at Alfa Romeo this season.

Zhou will make his Formula 1 debut this month at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix alongside Bottas who has moved to Alfa Romeo from Mercedes for this season.

“I have good experience in the sport and having a rookie team mate, he will need support and I’m ready to give that,” said Bottas. “In the end, if we want the results in the future, in the years to come, we need to be able to work together.

“I’m sure we can work well together and I’m going to help Guanyu as much as I can on his journey to become a complete driver in Formula 1 and a competent driver. So I look forward to it. He’s a nice guy and he’s got the will to work hard, so I’m sure we can achieve good things together.”

Eau Rouge resurfacing begins at Spa-Francorchamps

Resurfacing work has begun at Spa-Francorchamps’s famous Eau Rouge and Raidillon sequence as the latest phase of major modifications being made to the circuit for the 2022 racing season.

The circuit shared images of work in progress resurfacing the track around the famous uphill kink on social media.

The work comes after the run-off and grandstands at the corner have been moved further back to help improve safety in the sequence following a series of troubling accidents last year.

Penske performance not hampered by moving to three cars – Power

Will Power says that the performance of Penske has not been affected by the team downsizing to a three-car entry for this year’s IndyCar series.

Power and team mates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin are Penske’s three drivers this year after Simon Pagenaud moved to Meyer Shank for 2022. Asked if losing a car could affect the team’s performance, Power said “no, not really”.

“We got some of the guys from that fourth car, which probably added a little bit of quality to the pit crews, but the pit crews were already pretty solid. Penske can comfortably run four cars and not really take away from anything. It’s just a little more quiet in the engineering office now.”

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Comment of the day

After Nikita Mazepin lost his seat at Haas for this season, @jackysteeg thinks the team should look elsewhere than reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to replace him…

Hard to see how this could have gone any other way. Once the funding was compromised, there’s no justification in keeping a driver who got so thoroughly thrashed by a fellow rookie.

Nothing against Pietro but for Haas’ sake they need to look elsewhere. The lack of experience among the drivers has and will continue to hurt them. Sure, Mick has a year’s experience, but I can’t imagine he’s learned much driving the slowest car alongside F1’s slowest driver. If Haas seriously expect to move up the grid this year, they absolutely need a more experienced driver in the other seat to aid development.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bac!

On this day in motorsport

  • 15 years ago today Formula 1 introduced its rule requiring drivers to use two different tyre compounds during a race

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 13 comments on “Bottas ‘ready to give Zhou the support he will need’ during rookie season”

    1. Piastri to HAAS for the love of everything F1. A great measuring stick for Mick to go up against and start building a legacy if F1 wants to go that way.

      Piastri deserves that seat, if it goes to Gio it will be a travesty.

    2. Oh heavens yes! Sepang!

      1. RandomMallard
        6th March 2022, 7:54

        +1. Really hoping Sepang could return!

      2. Sepang is awful since they turned their last corner into an off-camber mess.

        1. And yet it’s still better than almost every circuit on the current F1 calendar.

    3. RandomMallard
      6th March 2022, 8:01

      Agree with COTD. Again, nothing against Fittipaldi but I think Haas need someone with some proper F1 experience, albeit these drivers are in short supply at the moment. Which is why I’m also not sure of Piastri is the best option. No doubt he’s very, very talented and definitely deserves a place in F1, but I share the sentiment of jackysteeg that a rookie and a driver with one year’s experience at the back of the grid probably isn’t the best combination when trying to improve a car to bring it up into the midfield. Someone like Hulkenberg could be a good fit, or they could even go full circle and try and bring Grosjean, or more likely Magnussen back from the states, though I doubt they’d like to sacrifice their respectice potentially competitive Indy and IMSA/WEC campaigns to return to F1.

      1. @RandomMallard Both Grosjean & Magnussen have essentially said no to an F1 return for merely making up numbers.
        Hulkenberg has been away from regular F1 racing (& proper racing generally) a bit too long for someone who hasn’t achieved decent success in the series & even he’s admitted the F1 train has probably left.
        Limited options this close to season-opener, Gio has been mentioned, but I’m unsure how realistic as has Piastri & even Daruvala, even though both are definitely unrealistic.

    4. Zhou certainly needs some help, but I predict he’ll still get both outscored & out qualified & possibly to a great extent.
      BTW, that image would fit for Caption Competition.

      I thought all resurface work had got done before, but not yet for the Eau Rouge-Raidillon section.

      The steering wheel is the same as before configuration-wise, pretty much ever since 2014.

      I still view Istanbul Park as the most likely Sochi Autodrom replacement, although I wouldn’t mind a one-off return for Sepang either. Logistically, that circuit would fit perfectly, after all.

      I see what COTD means with going for a more experienced driver than Pietro, but he’s still the easiest choice since he’s already in the team, so nothing extra like with drivers joining from the outside.

      I had forgotten how long the two-compound requirement had existed.
      Since 2007, so already when refuelling was still a part.

      1. No guarantee about how Zhou is going to perform but I was trying to switch things around and find the best mentor among the current drivers, ie. which team mate would I want as a rookie to learn and develop the most. Surely Bottas has to be right up there as he seems very open and ready to share what he knows. I feel that the likes of Verstappen, Hamilton or even Alonso won’t care much, be more secretive and will focus on their own while Bottas might spare some time for his rookie team mate. Yet Bottas has shown to be very capable (at times) and has vast experience of being next to Lewis, he surely has great knowledge about how to be fast and know how difficult it is to sustain a whole season. The only other current driver I might consider as “top mentor” from current grid is Vettel at this point in his career. It looks like he is enjoying his time in F1, opened up quite a bit lately and has vast experience to share.

        Would be interesting to have your views on as a rookie who would you pick as your team mate (from current grid)?

        1. @jeanrien I struggle to pick one, so I go for anyone with vast F1 racing experience.

    5. RocketTankski
      6th March 2022, 8:53

      Lewis seems a bit.. different today?

    6. Bottas is going to make Zhou a world champion!
      Apparentlty “El plan” is a political program, “never heard of it, don’t know what you’re talking about.” The Alpine looks like a backmarker so no surprise.
      Pietro is even slower than nikita so definitely a great choice.

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