Guan Yu Zhou gets Renault Formula 1 team role for 2019

Renault has signed former Ferrari Academy member Guan Yu Zhou as its Formula 1 test and development driver for 2019, adding to his Formula 2 programme with UNI-Virtuosi

Guan Yu Zhou gets Renault Formula 1 team role for 2019

Zhou, 19, contested European Formula 3 in 2018 and finished eighth with Prema Racing, and has already tested with his new F2 team ahead of the '19 season.

The Chinese driver will get significant simulator time in his new role in the Renault Sport Academy, alongside sitting in on the team's engineering briefings.

"Renault is a very experienced and professional team in motorsports for a long time, so joining the academy will be a great help for my racing career," Zhou told Autosport.

"The F1 role can give me an earlier understanding of the things around F1, like the team, the people, and also the sponsors.

"All of these are the valuable elements for my future career.

"It's great to join such a big and top family.

"I remember when [Fernando] Alonso won the [constructors'] world championship with Renault at the Chinese GP in 2005.

"I was a big fan for him at that time, so to work with such a brilliant team is really a great experience for me, and for sure I will push myself hard to achieve what we planned for."

Despite the increased responsibility with a manufacturer-led F1 team, Zhou is confident the deal can help and not hinder his F2 performance in his maiden season.

While UNI-Virtuosi is a new team on paper, many of the personnel carry over from the Russian Time team that it replaces.

"The Renault Academy has a top team to support all its drivers," added Zhou, who is already based in the UK.

"I have confidence that this could help me adapt faster to my rookie year in F2 and hopefully also can secure us a good result in the championship.

"My main goal is always F1, but I know the way to F1 is really narrow and difficult, so I will keep myself alert and focus on the F2 racing, as a proper race performance is always the priority."

Zhou is also keen on the opportunity to work with Renault's latest race signing, Daniel Ricciardo.

"He has been one of my favourite F1 drivers for several years," Zhou added.

"I love his passion, speed and great personality.

"I think I will learn a lot from him, so I'm very excited to meet him not only in the paddock but during the race weeks, and hopefully we can have fun time together outside track as well."

While Zhou parts with the Ferrari Academy, his 2018 Prema F3 team-mate Mick Schumacher was announced as a new member of the scheme last weekend.

shares
comments
Sauber reveals 2019 Formula 1 car launch date

Previous article

Sauber reveals 2019 Formula 1 car launch date

Next article

'Team to watch' Sauber should be feared by Formula 1 rivals in 2019

'Team to watch' Sauber should be feared by Formula 1 rivals in 2019
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021