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Guanyu Zhou

Zhou: There's so much to learn ahead of F1 debut

F1's only 2022 rookie, Guanyu Zhou, says there is a lot for him to adapt to as he gears up for his race debut in Bahrain next month.

C42 Front Left 8000x6000 300 DPI
To news overview © Alfa Romeo

Guanyu Zhou says there is still a lot for him to learn and get used to before his F1 race debut for Alfa Romeo at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in March.

Having graduated from F2, Zhou is the only rookie on the 2022 Formula 1 grid, and admits he is under no illusions as to the size of the task awaiting him this year.

"There's so much I have to learn with the car, with all the switches, and of course with the new tracks this year and with a new crew around me," the Chinese driver told media including RacingNews365.com at the unveiling of Alfa Romeo's C42 challenger.

"[The team] really rely on the drivers so you have to give very straightforward feedback and information, and that really can help the team move forward.

"It's been a great experience so far at the first pre-season test, but I know there's still a long way to go, and a lot of knowledge for me to get used to."

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Zhou confident of 'porpoising' improvement

F1's new technical regulations for 2022 impose tighter limits on bodywork, with the aim of reducing the turbulence generated by cars and improving wheel-to-wheel racing, and Zhou believes that new rules appear to be having the desired effect.

"In terms of the car feeling, it's very similar [to last year], but it's easier to follow [behind other cars], and hopefully we can see more exciting races," Zhou explained.

A notable feature of the first three days of pre-season running saw the cars repeatedly pitching up and down at high speed, in a phenomenon known as 'porpoising'.

Though this has not been widely seen in F1 since the ground effect era of the early 1980s, Zhou thinks that his team were already getting to grips with the impact it would have on the behaviour of the car.

"From day two [of pre-season testing], there was already quite a bit of improvement from day one from the feedback we got," he added.

"Of course, the problem is still there a little bit for all the teams, and I think that's the biggest limitation with the new car for everyone.

"We just have to find a way around it which provide us with as much downforce as possible, and also reduce the bouncing on the brakes, but in terms of safety, there should be no problem."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the first pre-season test

At the end of the first pre-season test of 2022 in Barcelona, Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discuss the on- and off-track developments so far.


RESULTS F1 2023 Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying results