Guanyu Zhou looks set to complete the 2022 Formula 1 grid, taking the last available seat with the Alfa Romeo outfit, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Chinese driver currently competes in Formula 2 with the UNI-Virtuosi team and sits second in the standings, just five points adrift of leader Oscar Piastri, having taken three race wins and two further podium finishes.
Zhou would complete the F1 grid for next year, following a string of announcements this week which confirmed Valtteri Bottas’ arrival at Alfa Romeo, replacing the retiring Kimi Raikkonen. Meanwhile Alex Albon will drive for Williams alongside Nicholas Latifi.
AlphaTauri have retained both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, and George Russell will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, taking Bottas’ vacant seat.
Zhou would replace Giovinazzi who has raced for the Alfa Romeo team since 2019, with a best result of fifth at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. His results since have been solid but nothing special, having failed to beat Raikkonen in any of the three seasons as team-mates.
22-year-old Zhou, who was also chasing the second seat at Williams, comes with sponsorship of around $30 million from his Chinese backers.
He is also associated with the Alpine F1 Team through the Alpine Academy, which he has been a member of since 2019 following his split from the Ferrari Junior Academy. It’s expected he will cut ties with Alpine as a result of the deal with the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo outfit.