Zhou Guanyu “does not care” what Theo Pourchaire does in Formula 2 as he seeks a longer-term Formula 1 contract with Alfa Romeo.
Second-year driver Zhou has had a stronger campaign compared to Valtteri Bottas in 2023, and although the Finn is currently ahead in the Drivers’ standings by one point, Zhou has more than been a match for Bottas in the uncompetitve C43.
Zhou’s long-term future in F1 remains uncertain after only signing a one-year contract extension in mid-2022 with the team preparing to return to the Sauber name for 2024 once the Alfa Romeo sponsorship ending as preparations for Audi’s 2026 arrival continue.
F2 racer Pourchaire is currently the test driver for the team, and made his F1 debut in practice at the 2022 United States Grand Prix.
When asked with how he was dealing with the possible threat from 19-year-old Pourchaire, Zhou was relaxed.
Zhou’s contract demands
“To be fair, I feel like from the beginning of every year, people try to say this, some people might be in with a chance of taking the seat,” Zhou told media including RacingNews365.
“But for me, I don’t care about what other people are doing in their championship.
“What I need to do is prove I belong here, prove that I am improving, that I am making a big step and then there will be not too much to worry about.
“But if I make a lot of mistakes, then I feel like I don’t deserve to be here, and it is right that they have the chances to get the seat.
“If I do everything right, there’s no reason to be worried about [losing my seat.]
“I want to have a clearer picture before the summer break ends.
“We have to see what to do to make everything happen on paper, but at the moment, my management is discussing with the team, so we have to see, but obviously [qualifying fifth] in Budapest helps.
“We’re open to all the opportunities, but my priority is to try and stay here, because after two years, I feel really settled within the team.
“As a rookie when you arrive, you will be on a one-year contract, but after two years, I do want a little bit of a longer contract.”