Aston Martin driver to replace Zhou Guanyu in 2024

A seat remains up for grabs at Alfa Romeo for 2024, as Zhou Guanyu is yet to be offered a new contract.

Reigning Formula 2 World Champion and Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich could move to Alfa Romeo next season, to replace Zhou Guanyu.

Whilst Valtteri Bottas is contracted to 2024 with the Hinwil-based team, Zhou currently doesn’t have a deal for next season.

He’s certainly performed well enough to be offered an extension, with that reportedly being an option.

F2 driver Theo Pourchaire is another possibility for Zhou’s seat next season, with Van der Garde having thrown Drugovich’s name into the hat.

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The Brazilian replaced Lance Stroll during Free Practice 1 at the Italian Grand Prix, whilst he also replaced the Canadian for the entirety of pre-season testing.

However, with Stroll and Fernando Alonso remaining with Aston Martin next year, Drugovich would only be able to remain on the bench at the Silverstone-based team in 2024.

Because of this, Van der Garde has reported that there are “stories” about Drugovich potentially moving teams to be on the grid.

“There are of course stories that he might go to another team next year, and also become a race driver within Formula 1 [instead of test driver],” Van der Garde told Viaplay.

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“He’s a guy who has real talent, who has also shown in Formula 2 how to become champion, how to win races.”

It seems extremely unlikely that Drugovich will be on the F1 grid next season, with him currently being the likely candidate for the vacant spot at Avalanche Andretti in Formula E, after Andre Lotterer left the series.

Drugovich completed two rookie tests for Maserati MSG Racing this year alongside his Aston Martin role, although a move to Maserati isn’t on the cards due to the Italian manufacturer being expected to keep their current driver pairing.

Being a reserve driver is certainly a very difficult position for Drugovich to be in as he hasn’t actually raced in 2023, with him being keen to get back in a racing seat reportedly.

“It’s so incredibly difficult, that you spend the whole year actually sitting next [to the] track,” Van der Garde added.

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“Then getting in [the car] here, you have to follow the team’s programme, you can’t quite show what you can do. But one thing is for sure, the guy is really good, and I hope he gets the chance next year – maybe at Alfa Romeo.”

When asked if the Swiss side are interested in the Brazilian, Van der Garde replied: “Yes.”

Van der Garde went onto explain why the team are interested in the driver:

“Well because obviously there’s some money behind it, he’s a guy who’s fast, Formula 2 champion, obviously has some feedback from the team he’s in now, so would be a nice combination.”