Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou is not too worried about potentially losing his race seat at Alfa Romeo for 2023.
On paper, the 23-year-old does not have a guaranteed deal for next season but he says “Fred and everyone in the factory is happy with my performance”.
“I had a hard time in the beginning, but I’m glad I’m faster every time I get back in the car. If I am now four tenths behind then I am no longer satisfied, while in the beginning it was eight tenths.
“Fred is very happy and I look forward to continuing with them.”
‘Fred’, of course, is Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur, who at Zandvoort agrees that Zhou is doing “a good job”.
When asked what the Chinese needs to do to keep his seat for next year, Vasseur added: “It’s not about what he has to do until the decision. It’s a long process.
“Zhou is doing a good job. For a rookie, it’s not just a matter of pace. You have a lot of things to learn in F1 and a lot of different pressures and they have to discover this world.
“And Zhou did it perfectly with a very good collaboration with the team. But as I said before, and as we decided before, we will take a decision by the end of September and we have to stay calm on this.
“He is very committed and he’s doing a good job but the time for the decision will be soon,” Vasseur added.
There have been some rumblings about Zhou reconnecting with Alpine in the wake of the Oscar Piastri affair. Zhou had been released from the Renault-owned team’s development program to race for Alfa Romeo this year.
“We have our own plans and they have nothing to do with Piastri,” Zhou insisted at Zandvoort.