Alfa Romeo rookie Guanyu Zhou says he wants to help the team keep improving, and look for “the right solution” after a couple of tricky moments in Barcelona.
The Chinese driver is the only one in the field making his Formula 1 debut this season, but his running on the third day in Barcelona ended prematurely after a trip to the gravel was followed by a car issue that limited team-mate Valtteri Bottas to just 10 laps in the afternoon.
He was on the sidelines on the first day as Bottas and reserve driver Robert Kubica completed their first forays with the C42, but Zhou was able to put in a solid day of running on Thursday to get 71 laps under his belt with his team – which he said was a valuable learning experience for him.
“Before that [pulling over] I had a little spin and unfortunately it was stuck in the gravel so I couldn’t restart, and in the last run we had some problems with the car that we had to force a stop on track,” he revealed to Formula1.com about his early finish on Friday.
Pre-season test done and dusted ✔️
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) February 25, 2022
“We have to investigate what happened on that side, but on the other side is that yesterday and today, in the morning we managed to do a decent amount of running compared to the first day.
“So that was something positive and, of course, on my side, there’s a lot of stuff learned.”
After an up-and-down time in Barcelona that saw Alfa Romeo complete only 175 laps across three days – the second-lowest total of any team, above Haas – more pressure will inevitably come into play to ensure the official pre-season test in Bahrain runs more smoothly for Zhou and the team.
The third-place finisher from last season’s Formula 2 championship will be looking for further running to get to grips with his car before the season starts, and he’s keen to work with his team to try and improve the car and his own performance before the year gets going in Bahrain on 20 March.
“The challenge from my side is to be adapting more, to be feeling more with the car – it’s always the key for the first season,” he said.
“As a team, we have to be finding the right solution, finding the right direction to keep improving, keep moving forward in terms of having a strong package for the season, which is very important as well.”
Zhou wants to eliminate his 'pay driver' tag
Guanyu Zhou wants to remove his pay driver tag and show his ability in F1.