Guanyu Zhou has revealed a feeling of "ease" at Alfa Romeo has led to a growth in expectations ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.
Zhou became the first Chinese driver to score a point in F1 after finishing 10th on his debut in Bahrain, almost repeating the feat in Saudi Arabia where he crossed the line 11th.
The 22-year-old appears to have quickly settled into the team, forming a strong bond with his experienced team-mate in Valtteri Bottas but he also feels this has increased the pressure.
"We come here on the back of two strong races but we have seen how executing the weekend well is key to bringing home the points," explained Zhou.
"I am confident we will have another performance at the level we expect and fight towards the front.
"I am feeling really at ease within the team, working with the crew and Valtteri [Bottas], and this confidence translates into bigger expectations.
"To bring home a good result in Melbourne, a city with such a big Chinese community, would be sweet."
Australian GP "special"
Albert Park is one of the few tracks on the F1 calendar that rookie drivers are unlikely to have any experience of before joining the grid as regular support series F2 and F3 do not feature on the bill.
The Melbourne circuit has been revamped of late in a bid to improve the spectacle, with Zhou itching for his first taste, despite the difficulties a completely new circuit brings.
"Melbourne is one of those special races, I remember watching the opening grand prix of the season over the years and the special feeling that gave me," added Zhou.
"I am really excited about being here and I can’t wait to get to know the track, as this is somewhere completely new to me.
"The first practice session will be very important to get full confidence around the new layout but I am not too concerned about it – my main focus is to extract the most out of the car, as in every other weekend."
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