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Zhou reveals "compromise" on road to F1 history

Zhou reveals "compromise" on road to F1 history

F1 News

Zhou reveals "compromise" on road to F1 history

Zhou reveals "compromise" on road to F1 history
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou has revealed the "compromise" he has had to make on his journey to becoming the first Chinese driver in F1.

The F2 alumnus impressed during his first official run-out during FP1 at the Red Bull Ring for Alpine last season prior to making the switch from the team's academy line-up to join Valtteri Bottas at a new-look Alfa Romeo squad.

Only one Chinese driver - Ma Qing Hua - had made an appearance in free practice in F1 before Zhou, who is now the first to be given a full-time contract in the sport.

But whilst there are well-established career ladders for native Europeans, the motorsport's infrastructure in China is such that drivers like Zhou are forced to relocate at a young age to pursue their dreams.

Asked how proud he was to be China's 'ambassador' in F1, Zhou replied: "It is always good to be the first to make a breakthrough and for my country, motorsports started much later than for European countries.

"So it is very tough to be following the ladder of motorsports and arrive to where I am today.

"Of course, there is quite a lot of compromise that needs to be taken by myself, by my family and the team behind me.

"I am very proud of my country and I think a lot of people want to be coming out abroad and watch me race because obviously, there is no Chinese Grand Prix this year.

"My job is to focus on this season and to do well this season and show my full ability as a race driver.

"I think the guys will keep supporting me from home so it is good to have them."

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