Zhou needed ‘new pants’ after epic Monaco save

Sam Cooper
Zhou Guanyu during the Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco, May 2022.

Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu drives through wet conditions. Monaco, May 2022.

Zhou Guanyu joked he needed “new pants” after performing a miracle save during a wet Monaco Grand Prix.

With the circuit’s immediate future still up in the air, fans were at least treated to an entertaining race if it is to be Monaco’s last appearance on the calendar. Following a delayed start, rain poured onto the street circuit and the race did not begin until an hour after its scheduled start time.

The Monte Carlo track is notoriously difficult at the best of times but the pre-race deluge provided the drivers with an almighty challenge of just keeping the car on the road.

During Sunday’s race, there were two notable examples of drivers battling with their cars just to keep them in a straight line. The first was Carlos Sainz but his save was later outdone by Zhou who was in a battle with Yuki Tsunoda before his car almost got away from him.

As they exited the tunnel, Zhou went for the overtake but when the AlphaTauri driver moved over to defend, Zhou found himself on the wet part of the track.

The rear of his car kicked round until he was almost horizontal across the track but he managed to hold on even if he did not pull off the overtake.

Having regained control, he joked over the team radio that a pair of “new pants” were needed following the close encounter.

Speaking after the race, the 23-year-old explained he felt it was one of his only chances to go for the move.

“It was very damp on the inside, and there’s not much slipstream you can gain,” Zhou said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“That was probably one of the closest laps behind Yuki, so I really had to dive up the inside at the last minute. Unfortunately he tried to cover a little bit, and at that moment, I tried to avoid that and hit the wet patch. That was just about keeping the car on-track there.”

He may have lost a position to Nicholas Latifi during the failed overtake but Zhou said he felt his experience of a wet Monaco during his rookie F1 season would put him in good stead for other tracks in the future.

“It was a tough one, I think one of the toughest, but we experienced all different conditions,” Zhou said.

“I guess normal race tracks in the wet will be a little bit better now after experiencing Monaco.”