Guanyu Zhou to make Formula 1 practice debut

Guanyu Zhou will participate in his first-ever Formula 1 practice session.

China’s Zhou Guanyu will take part in his first-ever Formula One practice session at the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend, the Alpine F1 team announced.

The Alpine F1 team announced in a press release, “Zhou, currently Test Driver for the team and Alpine Academy member since 2019, will be handed his F1 weekend debut for the first practice session of the event, taking Fernando Alonso’s A521 for the duration of the one-hour practice.”

Zhou who is the current leader in Formula 2 expressed his delight at the opportunity.

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“Driving in FP1 at a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend is like a dream coming true and another step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 driver,” the 22-year-old Shanghai native said via Alpine.

The Shanghai-born Zhou has been an Alpine Academy member and Test Driver for the team since 2019. The 22-year-old will take Fernando Alonso’s A521 for the duration of the one-hour practice for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Zhou will be the first Chinese driver since Ma Qinghua drove in the practice session of the 2013 Shanghai Grand Prix. Ma, now 33, never made it in F1 but has been a long-time TOCA Touring Car Championship.

Zhou’s will race next at Formula 2 race in the UK Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 17 and 18.