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Ferrari driver partnership still alive - Vasseur

Ferrari driver partnership still alive - Vasseur
© Reuters
Alfa Romeo's cooperation with Ferrari remains alive and well.

Alfa Romeo's cooperation with Ferrari remains alive and well.

That is the word from the Swiss-based team's boss Frederic Vasseur, who bats away claims that replacing Antonio Giovinazzi with Alpine academy member Guanyu Zhou for 2022 indicates flagging relations with Ferrari.

"The fact that we have gone for another option does not mean that we will no longer be able to do business with Ferrari in the future," the Frenchman told motorsport-total.com.

Vasseur has said that signing Zhou opens up exciting opportunities as the 22-year-old is Formula 1's first race driver from China.

But Alfa Romeo may in the future still be a platform for Ferrari to feed its academy drivers into, the Frenchman insists.

"Ferrari doesn't have to let a rookie move on every year either, so we work from year to year, and that is very clear to both parties," Vasseur said.

He also said that incoming Mercedes refugee Valtteri Bottas will play a key role in Zhou's integration to F1.

"It goes without saying that Valtteri has to take the newcomer by the hand at the beginning of the season," he told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"And that should definitely be a motivation for the whole team and all the departments."

Finn Bottas, however, says he will not regard himself as the team's number 1.

"I never thought much about this numbers game at Williams either," he insisted. "You can only function very well as a team.

"So I will fully support Zhou. And he's shown in the last two years that he's fast and can win races."

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Frederic Vasseur pictured in September 2019
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