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Guanyu Zhou

Zhou desperate to avoid missing 2025 F1 seat

Zhou Guanyu is one of several drivers still without a seat for the 2025 F1 season.

Zhou Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Zhou Guanyu has revealed that he is eager to avoid becoming a reserve driver next season, just to remain in the F1 paddock in 2025. 

The Chinese driver is one of several in the championship without a deal for next year, with a move elsewhere looking set to be his only way of remaining on the grid. 

Audi has already signed Haas' Nico Hulkenberg for 2025 and 2026, meaning the German will race for Stake F1 next season. Carlos Sainz also reportedly has an option to join the Hinwil-based team, should he wish to do so. 

It means the chances are incredibly high that both Zhou and Valtteri Bottas will need a new home for 2025, with Zhou in particular not being open to accepting a reserve position.

"I don't want to be the reserve, I don't want to take a year off," Zhou told select media including RacingNews365

"I don't think [at] this kind of age of my career, I don't really want to take a year off because Formula 1 when you take a year off, it's difficult to come back. 

"Just because you're not racing and it is such a high level, the cars are changing and you need to adapt to understand something different. 

"So my options, of course, try to get a seat for next year and reserve is definitely not an option at the moment."

Last resort

Despite being keen to avoid becoming a reserve driver at the age of 25, Zhou is aware that there might become a point this year where he has to consider accepting a reserve position. 

However, at least for now, the sport's first star from China is not thinking about a third driver position.

"If we have to then we have to see, we have to consider but for the moment I'm not trying to think in that way," insisted Zhou.

With activity across the midfield, some seats do remain available for next year. Of course, Stake F1 still have a spot to fill if Sainz rejects them, whilst Alpine are also in need of a new driver following the exit of Esteban Ocon. 

Zhou also has the benefit of being excellent from a marketing perspective, which could work in his favour.

"That midfield is still very much unknown for anyone with a few seats, spots available for everybody to grab," added Zhou. 

"So we need to see. Hopefully take the chance and yeah, see what happens."

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