Guanyu Zhou's third season in the Academy - quotes

Guanyu Zhou's third season in the Academy - quotes

10.02.2021: FIA Formula 2 Championship, UNI-Virtuosi Racing Weibo: @车手周冠宇 Instagram: gyzhou_33 Age: 21 Nationality: Chinese 2020 Wins: 1 Podiums: 5 Pole Positions: 1 Fastest Laps: 4 Points: 151.5


FIA Formula 2 Championship, UNI-Virtuosi Racing
Weibo: @车手周冠宇
Instagram: gyzhou_33

Age: 21
Nationality: Chinese

2020
Wins: 1
Podiums: 5
Pole Positions: 1
Fastest Laps: 4
Points: 151.5

 

Previous Championships:
2020: 6th, FIA Formula 2 Championship
2019: 7th, FIA Formula 2 Championship
2018: 8th, FIA Formula 3 European Championship
2017: 8th, FIA Formula 3 European Championship
2016: 13th, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, 6th Toyota Racing Series
2015: 2nd, Italian F4 Championship



Guanyu Zhou continues his Academy affiliation for a third season as he remains in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with UNI-Virtuosi.


Zhou joined the programme in 2019 on the back of three consecutive years in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. He impressed in his debut Formula 2 season, claiming the ‘Top Rookie’ award after achieving five podiums on his way to a seventh-place championship finish.


The potential was there for a title charge in 2020, but Zhou was struck by bitter moments of misfortune, which put paid to his chances. Nevertheless, the Chinese driver took his first Formula 2 race win in Russia, as well as a further five podium visits to cement sixth in the championship. To cap off last year, Zhou took part in the official Formula 1 post-season Abu Dhabi test in the Renault R.S.20.





Q&A



It’s your third year on the programme, how does that feel?


It feels good to be with the Academy for a third year. There’s a really good relationship between the team and I and I think it’s been going well. We have a lot of trust and we’ve worked well together over the two years, especially last year.


We did the Formula 1 post-Abu Dhabi test in December and that was a special moment for me, so it’s an honour to continue and having the team believe in me and in my career.



What are the main benefits of being on the Academy?


I’d say having the opportunities within the Formula 1 team. Formula 1 is my dream and my target and the team has given me chances to test the Formula 1 car in my role as Test Driver over the last two seasons. I’ve done a lot of days to develop the car, including simulator work.



All of these things are benefiting my future and getting me used to everything already. I feel more ready than I was three years ago when I wasn’t having these opportunities. It also helps me in Formula 2 as I understand things from the engineers a lot more.




How special is it to have the opportunity to drive the Formula 1 car?


It’s definitely an amazing experience. I remember my first time jumping in a Formula 1 car and the steering wheel, for example, felt quite complicated as everything was new for me. Now, I don’t have to think about any switches on the wheel as everything is in my head.


I also know how I have to change my driving style between Formula 2 and Formula 1. The downforce, compared to any other category, is special. The more mileage I do in an F1 car, the better it is, as it helps me to understand the car and the engineers and they also get to know me and my preferences.






What are your targets for the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship?



Firstly, I learnt a lot last season. It was clear how much bad luck I had and, while finishing sixth was okay, it was only a few points away from the top three. This year, the target is to win the title. The important thing is to get the superlicense points, but that does not mean I won’t push to win the championship. Last year, I improved my driving and my mental knowledge.



I had to adapt to bounce back from the bad luck, but I think that’s made me a stronger driver. This year, I’ll take that experience from the past and put it all together. Hopefully everything will come my way and we can have a good season.




What do you make of the new FIA Formula 2 calendar?



We have some new tracks to learn. I like new tracks as it’s not just new for me, it’s new for everyone. Both team and driver will need to adapt to the new circuits and have a strong baseline set-up. The new calendar has three races each weekend, so it’s even more important to always finish inside the points and have a chance for the reverse grid race.


Qualifying will be tight as always and everyone will have a chance. You cannot afford mistakes, especially in qualifying or race one as that will compromise the whole weekend.




How is your winter training going?

I’ve been in Shanghai and it’s been going well. I’m following a programme I’ve been set by the team, and my physio. There’s lots of things I can do, and I don’t have to go to the gym all the time. I’ve been playing some football, basketball and badminton as well.


This winter has been busy with testing and racing in Asian Formula 3, so I feel even more ready than last year!




- Alpine also photo

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10.02.2021 / MaP

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