Zhou’s first target is ‘not hitting the anti-stall on lap one’

Date published: April 9 2022 - Editor

Guanyu Zhou and his racing glove. Australia April 2022

Making his Australian GP debut, Guanyu Zhou is hoping to have a good race if he can get past his car’s anti-stall mechanism at the start.

Being one of the three drivers racing on the Melbourne street circuit for the first time, Zhou said that he was looking forward to the new and improved track that would allow for tighter faster racing.

In a press conference on Friday, he expressed his delight with having four DRS zones around the track for him to play around with – that privilege was later removed in an attempt to make the track safer for the drivers.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s quite a lot different to what I’ve seen in the past,” he said in the drivers’ press conference

“Nevertheless, I like quite a lot the track, particularly with the four DRS zones, I think there will be plenty of opportunities in the race to be thinking [of] overtaking, getting re-passed so it could be very entertaining.

“It’s quite similar to a street circuit even though it’s a race-track just because you see some exit kerbs for example the last corner [where] they reduced the exit of the astro turf off the kerb, made it more tiny, then [there’s] just a little bit of kerb and then it goes into a wall.”

He did however have some reservations regarding run-off areas around the track and the danger they may face to him as an inexperienced driver as well as to the drivers that would be pushing the limits of the track a bit harder than he would be.

“Also on the entry of the corners I think it’s a tricky one because you have the grass on the left hand side so we’ve seen in the past when people drop one wheel on that, it could be a huge crash or shunt into that.”

The FIA in its attempt to make F1 as safe as possible has an anti-stall mechanism installed on all the cars. This saw Zhou’s start in Jeddah in the previous race snatched away from him as his car stopped responding.

After Alfa Romeo’s poor race start in the previous races Zhou is hoping he can get it right and start the race strong.

The Chinese rookie is lining up P14 on the grid, and he’s hoping to add a second points-scoring finish to his name.

“Not hitting the anti-stall on lap one,” he replied with a chuckle when asked what his first goal would be in Sunday’s race.

“I’m more confident now after the two weekends but nevertheless it’s a new track for me and some drivers so we just have to take into the rhythm and build up the pace.

 

“I think after the first two weekend I learned how to understand a bit more about that because in Formula 2 you can use any gears you want and the engine never goes into that mode so here you need to understand when the revs are [optimal] and to be doing the right procedure and we’ll try to improve together with the Ferrari [power unit] for me to be understanding and make the progress on that.”