Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese driver in Formula 1 history and the only rookie in this 2022 vintage, is having a start to the season marked by « highs and lows », in his own words. Author of a very encouraging opening round in Bahrain and the point for tenth place, Zhou proved to be consistent by finishing near the points in the following two races, before marking time following reliability problems.
However, his promising start to the season now seems a long way off. With only one point on the clock, the Chinese occupies 18th place in the standings, while his teammate Valtteri Bottas has already stacked 40 units. The degree of experience is not the same, but the one who finished third in the Formula 2 championship last year will have to increase his pace if he does not want to find himself in danger for next year. Because for the moment, Zhou has not begun to think about his future in the discipline.
« It’s still the start of the season, so I don’t have any plans for the future yet. But I’m really enjoying the times I’ve had in Formula 1 so far. »expressed the Shanghainese. « Of course there were ups and downs, because of the reasons related to the last races. But overall I feel very happy and it’s very nice to be here. And I think that there are still a lot of races for me to develop my skills in Formula 1. »
Guanyu Zhou in the streets of Monaco
« So I’m not too worried about the future yet. And I think for now I’m just going to try and focus on getting up to speed and bringing the team some double finishes in points. And then, if everything goes according to plan, I don’t see what the future will be, but I’m pretty confident that we can still get the job done this season and I’m not too worried about what’s to come. come for next year. »
During the last race in Monaco, Zhou was quite comfortable in complicated conditions, especially with the rain at the start of the race. Trapped by the red flag in qualifying and last on the grid, the Chinese climbed up to 14th place, before finding himself stuck behind Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri after the wave of pit stops. Zhou finished the event 16th, as Alfa Romeo aimed for big points on the streets of the Principality.
Zhou will have the opportunity to return to the top 10 this weekend, as Formula 1 heads to Baku. Circuit on which he won a podium last year in Formula 2, the #24 will have to avoid a new disappointment. Théo Pourchaire, second in the championship in the antechamber of the queen discipline and member of the Sauber sector, would see himself taking the seat of the Chinese for 2023.