Sauber confirms Zhou Guanyu talks yet to take place

Sauber, the current Formula 1 team known as Alfa Romeo, has clarified that contract discussions with Zhou Guanyu have not occurred yet.

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

Now, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the team representative for Alfa-Sauber, confirms that currently, only Valtteri Bottas has a contract for the next season.

“Of course, we are looking for improvement and opportunities,” he stated at Spa-Francorchamps. “There will be time after the summer shutdown to sit down with Zhou and explore the best solution for both parties.”

Bravi emphasized the importance of “stability” for a team like Sauber, which is undergoing a “transformation process” with Audi’s takeover in 2026.

“Our target is to retain both drivers in our team next year, but, of course, all the elements must align to create a win-win situation,” he asserted.

Amid recent rumours of potential issues with Audi’s Formula 1 plans for 2026 – particularly due to the ousting of CEO Markus Duesmann because of problems with the VW-owned German road car company – there have been speculations of delays with the 2026 Audi F1 engine and concerns that the project may be scrapped altogether.

However, Alunni Bravi denies having such information. He emphasizes that it is challenging for external observers to comprehend the development status of a significant program like a new manufacturer entering Formula 1.

“Regarding our program, it is on the right track. With Andreas Seidl, we are addressing all our weaknesses and exploring the best opportunities in the market to enhance the quality of our team and facilities,” he clarified.

“There is no change for us, nor for Audi,” he added. “Mr. Duesmann’s departure does not alter anything.”