Zhou: No better teammate than Bottas for rookie year in F1

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Alfa Romeo rookie Guanyu Zhou says Valtteri Bottas is the best team mate he could have alongside him in his maiden season in F1, thanks to the Finn's experience and openness.

Zhou will make history when he lines up on the grid in Bahrain next March as he'll be the first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1.

Alfa's recruit got acquainted with his new team at last month's post-season F1 test in Abu Dhabi where the former F2 charger worked alongside Bottas.

The 22-year-old reckons he's heading into his maiden F1 campaign with the right teammate alongside him to learn his trade.

"For a rookie, there is no better option than to have Bottas as your teammate in your first season," said Zhou in a recent interview on social media.

"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 Hamilton, and he is one of them.

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

Zhou, who finished third in last year's FIA Formula 2 Championship behind Oscar Piastri and Robert Shwartzman, was cautious when asked to state his objectives for 2022 given the unknown performance level of Alfa Romeo's new car.

But the young Chinese apprentice is hopeful of putting points on the board during his maiden season.

"First of all, I set a small goal to get points," said Zhou. "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."

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