Alfa Romeo says it can have full focus on its on-track performance in Qatar this weekend after finally finalising its 2022 Formula 1 driver line-up.
Off-track speculation has surrounded Alfa Romeo in recent months, amid the ultimately fruitless discussions with Andretti over a takeover, and the uncertainty over its second seat.
Alfa Romeo confirmed on Tuesday that Guanyu Zhou will graduate from Formula 2 next year to replace Formula E-bound Antonio Giovinazzi.
The squad has only scored 11 points this season, holding ninth in the standings, but it is confident of a stronger showing upon Formula 1’s debut visit to Losail.
“It’s been a busy week, with some big announcements for our team, but all our focus needs to be on the track now,” said Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur.
“This weekend’s race in Qatar is a crucial one for our championship and we approach it with no distractions, ready to give all we have in our quest to bring home the points we need.
“Coming at the end of a hard triple-header, being in our best shape will require everyone in the team to dig deep, but I am confident in what our team can do.
“A track like Qatar is new for everyone and discovering it will be a very important part of our weekend: we will need to make every session count and work with the track evolution.
Giovinazzi will exit Formula 1 after three full seasons with Sauber, switching to Formula E with Dragon/Penske Autosport, but has outlined adding more points to his tally prior to his departure.
“The announcements of this week are in the past now, and my objective is to have some strong performances for the remainder of the season,” he said.
“Qatar is a new track for everyone, so we all start from zero: this can be an opportunity for whoever gets up to speed the quickest.
“It is obvious, by now, that achieving a good result will take a flawless weekend: the midfield is as close as it can be and you can go from hero to zero, and vice-versa, with just some tiny gains or mistakes.
“We are due a good result after some unlucky races and this weekend would be a great occasion to claim it.”