Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu has rated his first half-season in Formula 1 as "quite enjoyable", but admits he is expecting a "lot more to come".
Zhou is the only rookie on the F1 grid in 2022, picking up points on his debut in Bahrain and again in Canada during his first 13 races.
The Chinese driver has also suffered from poor reliability with four DNFs – the most of any driver – while teammate Valtteri Bottas has secured 46 points.
Despite the gulf between the teammates, Zhou is excited for the second half of the season, and has been chipping away at the pace deficit to Bottas – a 10-time Grand Prix winner.
Zhou's "flat-out" year in 2022
"I've been non-stop flat-out, especially from the end of last year, Christmas until now, so it has been tough, but quite enjoyable as well" he explained to media, including RacingNews365.com, after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I have to say, I learned a lot so far this season. [I have] to improve a lot but there's still a long way to go and a lot more to come.
"It feels good to have a little bit of a break and hopefully come back even stronger.
"It's been up and downs, obviously, having a lot [of] unfinished races [due] to different issues.
"But I'm quite happy that this week kind of switched around to [the] point [where] I feel like we are back to where we were around Silverstone.
"We were missing a little bit of pace over [the] last few weekends, so [I am] quite happy with a good Saturday [in Hungary] and felt today this pace was there, but strategy [made us] go backwards a little bit."
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Closing the gap to Bottas
Zhou's teammate Bottas has proven his speed during his time in F1, having been able to hold his own against Lewis Hamilton in qualifying during their time at Mercedes together.
The Finn held a significant pace advantage over his rookie teammate at the start of the year, but Zhou has been pleased by his whittling down of that deficit.
"I started off the year one second, eight-tenths off [Bottas]," he explained.
"Now we are one-tenth [to] three-tenths [behind] every race more or less.
"I've done good improvements, so hopefully we can both keep pushing for better results."
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