Young Zhou Guanyu has etched his name into motor racing history. He is the first Chinese driver to ascend to the pinnacle of motorsport: Formula 1.
He is not a token driver by any means. The Young Zhou Guanyu has excelled and shown he has the ability to dominate the racing in the lower ranks.
Young Zhou Guanyu – Karting Journey (2013 – 2014)
Launching his motorsport journey at the tender age of eight. Zhou was quick to demonstrate his racing potential on the karting tracks of China. Recognizing his talent and seeking greater competition, Zhou relocated to Sheffield in 2012.
By mid-2014, while still navigating karting circuits, he was inducted into the prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy. Further expanding his horizons, the young Zhou Guanyu transitioned to Europe, where he tested his mettle in various junior racing categories.
His dedication bore fruit in 2013 when he clinched both the Super 1 National Rotax Max Junior Championship and the Rotax Max Euro Challenge titles with the Sheffield-based Strawberry Racing team.
Stepping Up to Formula 4 (2015)
Zhou’s upward trajectory continued as he joined the Italian Formula 4 Championship in 2015. Dominating the field, Zhou clinched victory in all three races during Round 2 at Monza.
He maintained a regular presence on the podium throughout the season. His commendable efforts saw him close the season as vice-champion and top rookie.
Formula 3 Endeavors (2016 – 2018)
Zhou made his foray into Formula 3, kicking off his inaugural season with strong finishes at both Paul Ricard and Hungaroring tracks.
Despite facing challenges during the latter half of the season, Zhou rebounded in his sophomore year, driving for Prema Racing. His efforts culminated in an 8th place finish in the overall standings, marked by five podium appearances.
Notably, he showcased impressive defensive driving at Spa, denying Lando Norris a potential victory. Continuing with Prema into 2019, Zhou delivered some stellar drives, but unfortunate collisions and punctures disrupted his momentum, relegating him to an eighth-place season finish.
Adventures in Formula 2 (2019 – 2021)
Moving into the intense Formula 2 arena, Zhou teamed up with UNI-Virtuosi Racing alongside Luca Ghiotto. His rookie season was marked by a seventh-place championship finish, earning him the Anthoine Hubert award for the highest-ranking rookie.
In 2020, Zhou was frequently seen on the podium, amassing six top-three finishes and concluding the season in sixth place. His third F2 year with UNI-Virtuosi was his finest yet: Zhou secured four victories, a pole position, and nine podium finishes, finishing third in the championship.
F3 Asian Championship Excellence
Before embarking on his 2021 Formula 2 season, Zhou competed in the 2021 F3 Asian Championship, driving for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema. Proving his exceptional talent yet again, Zhou clinched the championship title, celebrating four race victories, five pole positions, and an impressive 11 podium finishes.
As Zhou Guanyu continues to shatter barriers, he stands as a testament to China’s burgeoning presence in the elite world of Formula 1 racing.