New Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou hailed Valtteri Bottas ahead of his debut season, saying that he couldn’t have asked for a better teammate.

Zhou will become the first driver from China to race in F1. He will join Bottas at Alfa Romeo, who is also a new arrival at the team.

The teammates have already begun pre-season testing together and have struck up a friendship. The difference between the two couldn’t be starker, with one being a rookie while the other is a ten-time race winner.

Zhou hailed the experienced Bottas ahead of his debut season, saying that he was happy to have him as a teammate.

“For a rookie, there is no better option than to have Bottas as your teammate in your first season,” the driver from Shanghai said, as quoted by motorsport.com.

“If I’m going to beat him, I know I need to work very hard and adapt very quickly to the whole of F1, and to the new car, from the very beginning.

“But I think what’s more important is that he can help me get through the learning curve. He is a very open driver. He shares his information and discusses with the team and with me, which is a very helpful point.

“After all, he’s had so many podiums and wins in F1. Among all the drivers, there are only a few who can outqualify (Lewis) Hamilton, and he is one of them.

Zhou: "Open" Bottas best teammate for rookie F1 year
Zhou (pictured) will make his F1 debut in 2022. Source: motorsport.com

“I think he’s a great reference and a very strong teammate. I hope to improve together with him next year.”

Ambitions

“First of all, I set a small goal to get points,” Zhou continued.

“I don’t know how competitive the car will be next season. We need to wait until the beginning of the season to get a clear picture.

“Personally, I would like to get points. But at the beginning of the season, I won’t be thinking if it will be achievable at the first two races; just not to have too much pressure.

“I want to enjoy racing in F1, to learn from my teammate and the engineers, and improve myself in all aspects. When I make improvement in all areas, the results will then naturally come.”

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

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