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Guanyu Zhou

Zhou shares ambitious Chinese GP target in bid to 'write history'

Zhou Guanyu will race in his first home grand prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, where the Stake F1 driver is aiming for a strong result, despite his team’s difficult start to the season.

Zhou
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Chinese F1 driver Zhou Guanyu is determined to score his team’s first points of the season at his first home race.

Stake F1 has been mired by pit stop issues so far in 2024, masking any underlying race pace it might have, consigning its drivers to the lower reaches of the classifications.

Recent improvements to its woes saw the team cut its average total pit stop loss greatly at the Japanese Grand Prix. Now, Zhou is hoping to score Stake’s first points of the year.

Not only will the Chinese Grand Prix provide fresh opportunity to vault the team up the constructors’ standings, but Zhou will also be embarking upon his maiden home race in the series, having debuted in 2022 amid China’s COVID-19-induced lay-off from the F1 calendar.

“I couldn’t be more excited to finally race on home soil in Shanghai,” he said ahead of the event.

“To be the first Chinese driver ever to compete in Formula 1 in China means a lot to me – it fills me with immense joy, pride and responsibility. It isn’t just a race for me: after four years off the calendar, the championship finally returns, and with a Chinese driver on the grid, we will write history.”

'I can't wait to have a good race'

Zhou is hopeful his presence on the grid will help to support those coming up the motorsport ladder, highlighting the popularity of grand prix, and racing generally, in his home country.

“It’s an opportunity to inspire and pave the path for future generations being interested in the sport: we saw the passion that awaits us when the tickets went on sale, and were fully sold out within hours – my country loves racing and has been waiting for this moment for years,” he explained.

Despite the momentous occasion, for both Zhou and China, his attention remains on his on-track performance, with Stake languishing second-to-last in the constructors’ standings.

“For me, though, the focus remains on performance: once I get to the track, I will treat this as any other weekend, and work hard to extract the most out of the car,” he said.

“I can’t wait to give it my all, share the passion with our entire team trackside and at home, and start a new chapter of Chinese motorsport together with the crowd.”

Stake sit ahead of Alpine in the championship courtesy of Zhou’s eleventh place finish in Bahrain, with that result also helping the Chinese driver lead team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ table.

However, with Williams also scoreless in eighth place, a solitary point could be invaluable, even this early in the season. Something not lost on Zhou, who concluded by zeroing in on his target for the weekend – which will also include the first sprint race of the season.

“Most importantly, though, I can’t wait to have a good race and get back to scoring points.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying