There remains only one seat to be assigned on the 2022 starting grid in F1 and it is the one alongside Valtteri Bottas in Alfa Romeo, a steering wheel that seems to escape more and more from the hands of Antonio Giovinazzi. Guan Yu Zhou is always in pole position, thanks to the support of China and the top of the Circus itself, eager to broaden their horizons in a strategic market like the Chinese one. The negotiation with Frederic Vasseur, however, is not so simple and the hitches do not concern only a SuperLicenza still to be conquered (although certain unless imponderable events in the last two races of the F2 with consequent collapse in the standings of Zhou).
As reported by the Swiss newspaper Blick, indeed, Guan Yu Zhou would like to sign a three-year contract to ensure time to grow in F1 without the anxiety of having to immediately demonstrate something to defend the seat. A difficult request for Frederic Vasseur to accept, who does not want to preclude himself from welcoming the pupil into the team in the future. Theo Pourchaire, making his debut in F2 and currently fifth in the standings. Valtteri Bottas, in fact, has already signed a three-year contract and guaranteeing the same treatment to Guan Yu Zhou would mean blocking the couple of drivers until 2024 inclusive.
In the past Frederic Vasseur was a Renault man and relations with the French company are still excellent. For this reason, the team principal of the team from Hinwil would be ready as an alternative to Zhou to welcome Oscar Piastri, Australian driver born in 2001 and member of the Alpine Academy – like Zhou – who in 2019 won the Formula Renault Eurocup and in 2020 the F3 on his debut. Two rounds from the conclusion of the F2 Piastri is in the lead with a good 36 points ahead of Zhou. If Piastri were to win the F2 on the first attempt, he would follow in the footsteps of Charles Leclerc and George Russell, both on their debut in both GP3 and F2. An impeccable curriculum that, if it did not find a place in F1, would certainly not offer a positive and meritocratic image to the Circus.