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Zhou surprised by early changes at Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu said on Thursday he was surprised by the team’s move to hire former McLaren technical boss James Key as a replacement for Jan Monchaus. 

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, the Chinese driver said he understood team chief Andreas Seidl would be making changes ahead of the team’s takeover by Audi in 2026, but the speed of the move had been unexpected. 

“I knew things would change a bit inside the team, handing over for 2026, but I didn’t expect it so quickly,” he said. 

“I think that in general Jan did a good job and as he is not out of the team, they need to figure out which department and role he has to take and if he stays or not.

“Andreas is building a team ready for the Audi arrival. So I am happy to take whoever Andreas takes – he is a good guy and knows what he is doing for the best of the team.

“James will give us some other ideas and we can continue working to make a further step up for the end of the season,” he added.

Seidl worked with Key at McLaren between 2019 and 2022. 

“I don’t know what’s going on at McLaren — and why he was booted out — but they were working extremely well with James,” Zhou said.

“He was a guy at McLaren, when they were struggling, and he brought them back to be race-winning cars and on the podium several times. Andreas takes the decisions — and I am ok with all that!”

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