China’s first F1 driver Zhou Guanyu says ‘endurance’ key to success

SHANGHAI: The path to becoming China’s first Formula 1 driver was a lonely one that required endurance and tough self-discipline, Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu said Tuesday (Apr 16), ahead of his first grand prix race in his hometown Shanghai.

The motorsport event will return to the country for the first time in five years this weekend post-pandemic, with hype building around Zhou.

The 24-year-old, who made history in 2021 when he signed with Alfa Romeo as China’s first Formula 1 driver, described his road to motorsport’s highest level as arduous.

“As a Chinese driver, I am not in an area that belongs to me, I don’t have anyone to guide me, I don’t have a carmaker, I don’t have any engine manufacturer,” Zhou told reporters on Tuesday, after a screening of a documentary about his career.

“I am completely dependent on my own hard work as well as my team’s,” he said.

“There is a lot that you have to endure, you have to discipline yourself internally in terms of some of your thoughts.”

Zhou said he envied Japanese drivers, who had a “Honda Dream Project to get them on track from childhood”.

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