Zhou Guanyu targets top six finishes as he enters sophomore F1 season

Sam Cooper
Zhou Guanyu in a hat ahead of the 2023 season.

Zhou Guanyu in a hat ahead of the 2023 season.

Zhou Guanyu has targeted a career best of a top six finish as he prepares for his second campaign in Formula 1.

The Chinese driver was the sole rookie on the grid in 2022 with other teams preferring to keep their drivers considering the vast change in regulations and although he ended the year with only six points, he did impress.

He scored points on debut and achieved a P8 in Canada but, as the whole team found out, reliability was the main issue with Zhou forced to retire on five occasions.

As Alfa Romeo unveiled their 2023 challenger, with a new predominantly black look, Zhou was asked what his personal goals were for the year ahead and he said he believed top six finishes were a possibility.

“I did look back at my rookie year several times: I had my highs and lows throughout the season,” the 23-year-old said. “But I reckon I was able to work through a lot of different situations.

“I had some amazing points finishes together with the team, so I can say I am very happy with what we all achieved in my first season. The expectation for this year is definitely higher, and I will take all the experience from my rookie season into 2023.

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“My goal is to move another step up with my driving skills, I want to achieve more points finishes for the team and for myself, and try score a higher personal best finish: my best one last year had been P8, and it would be amazing to score a top six this year.

“I would also like to get more often through Q3. So, from my side, I aim for fewer mistakes, more consistency: that will definitely pay off.”

Zhou also paid tribute to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas who he said he built an instant rapport with.

“From the very start, the team made me feel at home, welcoming me and giving me time to learn and improve,” Zhou said.

“I didn’t know Valtteri too well before the season, but we clicked immediately, and he’s been an amazing teammate so far. He helped me from the first race in Bahrain until the last one in Abu Dhabi, and throughout the whole season.

“We always work together, and I think that’s the best for both of us and for the team. All the tips and advice he’s given me really helped me improve and get to what I have achieved so far.”