Where the championship leader in Formula 2 was linked to a seat at Alfa Romeo, it was ultimately Zhou who was announced last week for the second seat at the Italian-Swiss formation. Guanyu Zhou brings a lot of financial support to the team, so driver Antonio Giovinazzi was critical of his current team and called the F1 world ‘ruthless’ when it came to money. In Qatar, Piastri took on his opponent in Formula 2.
“Of course there has been quite a bit of negativity on social media and the like, but I think it was mostly unfair,” said Piastri. “Of course, we know he will bring financial support. But he’s not bad after all. He is second in the championship, has the same number of wins as me. He led the championship for the first part of the year. He’s not like he hasn’t accomplished anything. It will definitely be tough for him against Valtteri [Bottas]. He has a very strong teammate in Valtteri. But I’m curious how he does it, I’m confident.”
Zhou out of the picture at Alpine
Piastri is 36 points ahead of Zhou in the F2 standings with two race weekends to go in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Both gentlemen are members of the Alpine training program. Piastri will start as a reserve driver next season and will not race in that role. With his switch to Alfa Romeo, his association with Alpine seems to be coming to an end, Piastri thus becomes the leader of the junior program.
“You can indeed see it that way,” agreed Piastri. “In a big team like Alpine, I hope the financial side of the game isn’t such a big factor. Looking to the future, I don’t know how big its role will be. But in principle it is beneficial for me that Zhou is a bit out of the picture.”