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Alfa Romeo - How Zhou was eased into Melbourne

Alfa Romeo - How Zhou was eased into Melbourne

F1 News

Alfa Romeo - How Zhou was eased into Melbourne

Alfa Romeo - How Zhou was eased into Melbourne

Alfa Romeo head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar has revealed the team's instructions to ease rookie driver Guanyu Zhou into the F1 Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Across the Melbourne event, a number of drivers with experience of the Albert Park layout came unstuck with crashes into the unforgiving concrete walls.

With F1 not joined by the F2 and F3 support series in Australia, rookie drivers often have no experience of the circuit and Pujolar has explained how Alfa Romeo negated this fact with Zhou.

"I think in general overall I would say very good [from Zhou], another strong and solid weekend," explained Pujolar.

"You can see for many people there were problems with crashing but for us, it was very important to start the weekend on the conservative side, build up session by session and don't push too much because as soon as you make a mistake it will take a long time to recover.

"In qualifying, there was a bit of margin. I think it was quite challenging for him with the C5, not only for him because also with Valtteri [Bottas] we struggled to extract all the performance but that is more on our side, we need to understand on the team side how we can help them on this compound."

F1 qualifying challenge greater than racing for Zhou

After scoring points in his debut race in Bahrain, Zhou has finished 11th in both Saudi Arabia and Australia.

But it has been qualifying in which the Chinese driver has struggled having been unable to challenge for a Q3 spot thus far.

"For Zhou, it was also a bigger challenge in qualifying this time but we know that during the race, with race-pace and fighting, he is always very good and he did it again," added Pujolar.

"He didn't reach the points but he was fighting for the points until the last lap so that was very good."

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