Sauber admits Chinese Zhou not yet signed for 2024

"Our target is to keep both drivers in our team"



29 July 2023 - 09:02
Sauber admits Chinese Zhou not yet (...)

Sauber, the Formula 1 team currently known as Alfa Romeo, has confirmed that contract talks with Zhou Guanyu are yet to take place.

Recently, the Chinese driver and his reported EUR 20 million in sponsorship was linked with potential moves to Haas and Williams for 2024.

Now, Alfa-Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi admits that only Valtteri Bottas is currently under contract for next season.

"Of course we are looking for improvement and opportunities," he said at Spa-Francorchamps. "There will be time after the summer shutdown to sit down with Zhou and look at what will be the best solution for both of us."

Bravi said "stability" is important for a team like Hinwil based Sauber that is "in a transformation process" with the takeover by Audi for 2026.

"Our target is to keep both drivers in our team next year but, of course, there must be all the elements in place to have a win-win situation," he insisted.

There have been rumours recently that all may not be well with Audi’s Formula 1 plans for 2026 - especially with the ousting of CEO Markus Duesmann due to problems with the VW-owned German road car company.

Among the rumours are apparent delays with the 2026 Audi F1 engine, and even rumblings that the entire project may be scrapped.

"We don’t have this kind of information," Alunni Bravi insists. "It’s always difficult for external people to understand the status of development of such an important program like a new manufacturer entering Formula 1.

"Concerning our program, it is on the right route. With Andreas Seidl, we are addressing all our weaknesses and seeking out all the best opportunities in the market to bring quality into our team and to develop our facilities.

"So there is no change for us, nor for Audi," he added. "Nothing changes with the departure of Mr Duesmann."

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