“The car has looked good the whole weekend” — Zhou Guanyu confident of making progress in F1 Chinese GP following disappointing Q1 exit

Photo Credit: Sauber
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It is a weekend in Formula 1 that has allowed Guanyu Zhou to participate in his first race on home soil.

The Chinese Grand Prix has been Sauber’s best performance so far in the season, where they reached Q3 for the first time in the Sprint Classification with both drivers, while the Chinese driver was on the verge of scoring the team’s first points of 2024 in the Sprint itself, finishing P9.

With the sights set on Sunday’s race, the Swiss team faced a classification in dry track conditions, where Bottas once again displayed his speed by getting the car in the top 10.

Unfortunately for the home hero, he was one step away from Q2, when a lock-up at turn 14 cost him dearly, meaning he will start the race from P16.

“I’ve had better days, but still I’m sure we can make up for tomorrow,” Zhou said.

“The car has looked good over the whole weekend, especially on the mediums. On the softs, from my side I have been struggling a bit, I was struggling to feel them and it was very easy to lock-up.

“So yeah that’s what happened today and we need to focus on that to make some changes later on.”

When asked if his feelings about the tyre compounds mean goods news for his race strategy as the mediums will be used, the Chinese driver said:

“Yes, the softs of course don’t last but you never know, depends on the weather. The car felt strong this morning, pace was good, I think the opportunity potentially is there for me to come forward and for us to get the best strategy.

“I think tomorrow won’t be about me feeling pressured because of the home crowd but more like me enjoying every second of the race. Of course, my first time coming here is a very special feeling.”

“So far I’ve never had this happen in my life, but not in terms of attention, more like, honored to be the person getting supported.”

Even though it’s not the best starting position for the 24-year-old, he showed optimism and was happy to face his first-ever Chinese Grand Prix.

“We know we can push to the limit and make progress tomorrow: much can happen here and I’m looking forward to the race, when the conditions will likely be similar to what we had this morning.

“The support of the crowd has been incredible, something I never felt in my life: we all want to go out there in the race and give them something to smile about.”