Alfa Romeo backs Zhou to help it join Mercedes and Red Bull on F1’s “front page”

Alfa Romeo is backing new driver Guanyu Zhou to help them join Mercedes and Red Bull on F1’s “front page”.

Zhou joins F1 and Alfa Romeo as the first Chinese driver in the sport’s history. His arrival will see the team earn a significant amount of money in the form of sponsorships, with Chinese sponsors and European companies targeting the Chinese market eager to invest.

With Alfa having a gold mine on their hands, and with the team targeting a return to the glory days of old, it becomes imperative to play the cards shrewdly. Doing so would be profitable on both commercial and racing fronts.

As a result, Alfa Romeo is backing Zhou to help them target the big leagues and join Mercedes and Red Bull on F1’s “front page”.

Speaking to GP Fans, team principal Frederic Vasseur said, “It’s true that on the commercial side that the drivers are the flagship of the team in the end.

“We are speaking more about Lewis (Hamilton) and (Max) Verstappen than Red Bull and Mercedes, but it’s normal. It’s always like this.

Alfa Romeo hopeful Zhou can help reach F1 'front page' with Mercedes and Red Bull
Zhou (pictured) is earmarked to take his team to the next level. Source: gpfans.com

“Between that, we need to consider these parameters. We are not Mercedes and Red Bull, and we need to be in front of the page to grow in terms of exposure, also because in terms of pure performance, and the pure performance of the team is always the target.

Smart approach

“It’s not just to put the two fastest drivers into the car,” he explained.  

“We need to think about the next three years, how they will improve, how they will grow up, how they will develop, how you will be able to attract sponsors, how they will fit together. We spoke before about this, that we are not at the cost cap but our mission is to be at the cost cap in the next 12 or 24 months.

“It means that we need also to think about this, how to attract sponsors and the combination is quite complex, but the atmosphere into the team’s an important parameter.”

Read more: Bottas reveals why he turned down Williams offer after Mercedes sack – “It was either them or Alfa Romeo”

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