Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas will continue to drive for Sauber in 2024, the team confirmed in a press release. Zhou’s position in particular was the subject of discussion this season, as the driver was unable to offer the Swiss racing team what he showed last year. Théo Pourchaire also seems to be almost certain of the Formula 2 championship and therefore seemed a suitable candidate for Sauber. However, the Frenchman remains the team’s reserve driver.
Silly season hasn’t really gotten going yet this season, but there were plenty of rumors. After all, Alfa Romeo is disappearing from the sport and will make way for Audi, putting pressure on the positions of the drivers of the Swiss racing team. Zhou in particular seemed to fear for his place within the team, but Sauber has extended the Chinese driver’s contract by one year. Bottas will also remain where he is, meaning the team will start the upcoming season unchanged.
The drivers are of course happy that they will be in Formula 1 for at least another year. “It’s great to sign a new contract with the team, especially considering how everything is developing now,” said Zhou in the team’s press release. ‘I am grateful to the team for their trust and I look forward to competing in my home race in China for the first time next year.’ Bottas is also happy to continue his collaboration with Zhou. ‘We have a bright future ahead of us. We are working very hard behind the scenes and now we can fully focus on our progress as a team.’
Sauber opts for stability
With an upcoming Formula 2 champion in the ranks, provided everything doesn’t go terribly wrong in Abu Dhabi, Sauber’s choice may be strange. However, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi indicates that the Swiss racing team consciously opts for stability. ‘It shows our investment in our project. In Formula 1, things don’t change overnight, so with this stability we can continue to build during this period of transition. Valtteri and Zhou are drivers with many languages and they work very well together.’
Pourchaire is again left out, despite the fact that the driver is seen as a great talent. In Abu Dhabi, the ART Grand Prix driver will defend a lead of 25 over Frederik Vesti. If the Formula 2 driver takes points in both the sprint and the main race, the title seems to be a certainty. The Frenchman will also have to focus on a role as a reserve driver next year, but for now he is looking to the near future. “I will do everything I can to bring home the title for the team,” said Pourchaire.