Alfa Romeo Racing will announce its full 2022 line-up on Tuesday, with F2 racer Guanyou Zhou expected to be named as Valtteri Bottas' teammate at the Swiss outfit.
Zhou, who currently stands second in the FIA Formula 2 Championship behind fellow Alpine junior Oscar Piastri, has been cited for many months as a top contenders for the second Alfa seat along with Piastri, incumbent Antonio Giovinazzi and fellow F2 racer Theo Pourchaire.
But the 22-year-old driver from mainland China is rumored to be supported by a healthy $25 million sponsorship package that will have certainly endeared him to Alfa along with his talent that has delivered 5 wins and 17 podiums over the course of his three years in F2.
Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko, when commenting on Alfa's prospects for 2022, suggested that Zhou's deal is signed and sealed.
“With the great equipment, the modern wind tunnel and now a good budget, the team should actually move forward in 2022," Marko told Blick's Roger Benoit.
"With Bottas you have a very experienced man and Zhou has now shown for three years in Formula 2 that he is ready for higher tasks."
Over at the Hinwil squad, team boss Frédéric Vasseur confirmed that there would be an announcement on Tuesday.
"Yes, we have already made a decision on the other driver," Vasseur told French broadcaster Canal Plus.
“We are at the last formalities, but the decision will be communicated on Tuesday after the Brazilian Grand Prix."
Zhou's promotion to F1 with Alfa necessarily implies a murky future in F1 for Giovinazzi.
But as a Ferrari-supported driver, the 27-year-old Italian could be entrusted with a support role with the Scuderia or channeled into the manufacturer's Hypercar program which it has put on its rails for an entry into the World Endurance Championship that is programmed for 2023.