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Guanyu Zhou

Zhou explains moment that 'destroyed' his front wing

The Alfa Romeo driver felt there was more on offer after getting caught up in an unfortunate first-lap incident.

Zhou Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Zhou Guanyu explained how a moment in the first few meters of the Japanese Grand Prix "destroyed" his front wing.

The Alfa Romeo driver was starting from 19th and was effectively the last car on the grid, when he was caught up in the crash between teammate Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon ahead.

The trio came to blows when Ocon moved across on Bottas as he was three-wide with Albon, with the Williams driver having to go off track briefly as Bottas' hit him following contact with the Alpine.

The collision threw up a lot of debris which caught Zhou out and resulted in a Safety Car during the opening laps.

"Where I was starting I was hoping for a bit of a more messy start up front," Zhou told media, including RacingNews365.

"Somehow I get put into the path of this massive carbon piece and that fully destroyed my front wing before Turn 1.

"I think there was a little bit of damage under the front of the car, but across the front wing was ok because we changed it. But maybe a small crack, but I don't think it's a major issue."

Zhou rues 'missed opportunity'

The Alfa Romeo driver believes there was more to offer over the weekend, after messing up his lap in qualifying which put him towards the rear of the grid.

"We missed out on Saturday, on my side I hit a little bit of dirty air into Turn 9 and then I kind of went off on the grass, and then hit traffic," said Zhou.

"It's quite a tricky one this weekend because I feel like from Saturday, I had better pace than Valtteri [Bottas] and I think that lap was easily Q2.

"If we started further up it would have been another story, so we need to just make sure everything we can get right.

"But on the other hand, I think on Friday trying a different setup that we did, I was struggling a lot, so I had one session to get the lap in."

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F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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