Chinese Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou will make his official F1 debut during this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix when he takes over the A521 during the first official practice session for the weekend.
Zhou has been a part of the Alpine Academy since 2019 and currently leads the 2021 FIA F2 championship by five points from fellow Alpine Junior Oscar Piastri. His performances this year have warranted a call-up to the senior outfit where the Chinese driver will take over PF1 duties from Fernando Alonso for this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.
"Driving in FP1 at a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend is like a dream coming true and another step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 driver," Zhou said in an official press statement.
"It’s going to be a very special moment. I’m preparing myself as much as I can to be ready and also ensure that I’m able to complete all the targets and plans that the team have set me to do. There have not been many Chinese drivers in Formula 1, so to be behind the wheel of an F1 car during a race weekend is going to be a very proud feeling.
"It’s going to be even more special that I’m driving Fernando’s car as he inspired me to pursue a career in racing when I was young. I’m very happy with my achievements so far and I’m very thankful for the support I have from those around me. My aim is to maximise this opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it
Zhou however will not be F1's first Chinese driver with Ma Qinghua holding that particular distinction.