Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake will head into the 2024 season with an unchanged line-up, as the team confirmed that current drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, will continue their relationship with the Hinwil squad for a third year running.
Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, where the team is aiming to extend its points run, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake put all pieces of the puzzle in place as it ensured its fast and exciting driver pairing – with an added dose of extra experience generated in the last 24 months – continues to fuel the Swiss outfit growth and development as it enters a new era of its life. It is a choice that highlights the value of stability and gives credit to the important journey of team-building that has taken place in the last two seasons.
Valtteri, a ten-time race winner with vast experience of racing at the highest level in Formula One, will enter the third chapter of the multi-year deal he struck with the team from 2022 onwards. It is a partnership that has delivered results, particularly as the experienced Finn steered the team through the crucial early stages of the new regulations era, in 2022; and one that has blossomed also outside the track, with Valtteri and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake working together and creating the space for numerous interesting projects.
Zhou, who made history in 2022 as the first-ever Chinese driver in Formula One, demonstrated not only the speed and skill that characterised his journey in the junior formulas, but a keen eye for technical details and a professional approach that turned him into one of the success stories of recent years. No longer a rookie, he competed in his second year in the sport with maturity and a methodical approach that won him even more supporters within the team, making the extension of the partnership with Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake a natural conclusion as he aims for further improvement.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake also announced the extension of its relationship with 2023 FIA F2 championship leader Théo Pourchaire as one of its reserve drivers. The young Frenchman, still only 20, successfully juggled a busy schedule of racing alongside his key work in the simulator in Hinwil, contributing to the growth of the team throughout the season.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative
“The decision to continue our journey with our driver line-up unchanged is testament to the investment we have made in our project. Nothing in Formula One changes overnight, and we have taken a conscious decision to focus on stability and to keep building our team up together as we embark on an important period of transition. Valtteri and Zhou are drivers of known talent and skill and they work really well together: they are well-matched and can push each other. Valtteri has taken a real leader’s role within the team, pushing us all to give our best; Zhou has made impressive steps forward in the last two years and we expect him to continue on this trajectory in 2024. Now the baton is back to us – we have to give both drivers a good car and put them in the best conditions to perform. Finally, I am happy that Théo will remain with the team for 2024 as one of our reserve drivers: he has done an incredible job this year, not just in F2, where we will all support him as he fights for the title in Abu Dhabi, but also behind the scenes, working with the team in Hinwil.”
“I have a feeling we have an exciting journey ahead of us, so I am happy and grateful to be able to look forward to 2024 knowing how the team is shaping up. There is a good atmosphere within our squad, I get along with Zhou and we both push each other hard to improve. There is an impressive amount of work going on behind the scenes, in Hinwil and beyond, and now that the line-up is set for next year, we can focus fully on improving, starting this weekend in Singapore already. Every step forward we make is a step forward for this year and next, so we are motivated to give everything we have every time we’re trackside or at the factory.”
“Signing again with the team is always a great feeling, especially when we know how things are shaping up. I am proud to be part of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake and grateful for their trust: I have been working extremely hard since day one and there is an incredible level of motivation to keep doing so every day forward. My relationship with Valtteri is really good, and we are working closely together and with the team to push everyone forward. I am also very excited about the opportunity to finally race with my team in China, in front of my home crowd. It will be a great moment and I’m proud to be able to share it with all those who have supported me.”
Théo Pourchaire, reserve driver
“Over the years, the team has become a family to me and, therefore, I am really happy and grateful to continue my journey with Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake and the Sauber Academy. The support I have received from everyone in the team has been outstanding, and I’m proud to be able to contribute to the growth of the whole operation. I have a lot in me I can give to this special group of people and I’m looking forward to the future. Of course, a great way to say thank you would be to finish the job in F2 in Abu Dhabi – I’ll give everything to bring it home for the team.”