Formula 1

Zhou Guanyu: Singapore Grand Prix “closest to a home race for me”

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Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Zhou Guanyu is probably looking forward to this weekend’s first Singapore Grand Prix since 2019 more than any race this season, with the Chinese rookie treating the returning race at the Marina Bay Circuit as his “home” event.

With the Chinese Grand Prix having been cancelled this season due to the Coronavirus, this weekend’s race is the closest to Zhou’s home, with the Chinese driver excited to welcome all his family into the garage for the event. There is much for the rookie to celebrate going into the weekend, with the Chinese driver having signed a contract extension with the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN side for 2023, and deservedly so.

Zhou has had an excellent rookie season in all respects, and will be hoping to prove to the Hinwil-based outfit that they’ve made the correct choice extending his deal. Zhou has never driven around the circuit before, which is arguably the most demanding on the calendar; however he is “confident and ready”.

“This has been a really good week so far, with the news of my contract extension yesterday, and now I am really looking forward to competing in Singapore: it’s the closest to a home race for me this season, and I will have family and friends supporting me here. On top of that, the track will be brand new to discover for me; it will be tough, as it’s a street race at night and in very peculiar weather conditions, but I feel confident and ready.

“Going back to scoring points in Monza was a great morale booster, and together with the competitive pace we had, it must be the base on which to build our weekend. The midfield will likely be very tight once again but doing our job well and being at the top of our performances will let us get in the mix and try to start a new point-scoring streak.”

“Singapore allows very little margin for mistakes” – Valtteri Bottas

On the other side of the Alfa Romeo garage, Valtteri Bottas is targeting a points finish at the venue which “allows very little margin for mistakes”, with the Finn coming into the weekend on the back of a disappointing result at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver is currently on a woeful run of having failed to finish in the points at the last seven races, something he’s eager to end.

“It’s nice to be back on track after a few weeks away; I’ve spent some time at the factory, working on the simulator to prepare for the upcoming double-header, and I am looking forward to returning to Singapore. It’s been three years since we last raced here, I enjoyed racing on this track in the past – I have been on the podium in 2017 – and the challenges it brings with the heat and the humidity.

“It was unfortunate not being able to get the most out of the car in Monza, as our pace had been good all weekend. Being a street circuit, Singapore allows very little margin for mistakes, but if we do everything right and put the cars in a good place on Saturday, I’m positive we will be able to fight for points during the race.”

Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI
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