The Alpine F1 Team have announced that Guanyu Zhou will make his first appearance in a free practice session this weekend ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
Zhou, currently leading the FIA Formula 2 championship racing with UNI-Virtuosi, will become the second Chinese driver to participate in an official Formula 1 session after Ma Qinghua, who took part in five sessions between 2012 and 2013.
The Alpine Academy driver says taking part in the free practice session at the Red Bull Ring is the next step on his way to competing in Formula 1 in the future.
“Driving in FP1 at a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend is like a dream coming true and another step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 driver,” said Zhou. “It’s going to be a very special moment.
“I’m preparing myself as much as I can to be ready and also ensure that I’m able to complete all the targets and plans that the team have set me to do. There have not been many Chinese drivers in Formula 1, so to be behind the wheel of an F1 car during a race weekend is going to be a very proud feeling.
“It’s going to be even more special that I’m driving Fernando’s car as he inspired me to pursue a career in racing when I was young. I’m very happy with my achievements so far and I’m very thankful for the support I have from those around me.
“My aim is to maximise this opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Zhou is the third young driver to be announced to compete in the first session in Austria, with Callum Ilott taking to the track for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and Roy Nissany for Williams Racing.