Motor Racing-Zhou thanks Alonso after his F1 debut
(Reuters) – Chinese test driver Guanyu Zhou made his Formula 1 test debut with Renault-owned Alpine in Austria and thanked two-time world champion Fernando Alonso for his helpful advice and for lending him his car.
The 22-year-old Shanghai-born driver, current Formula 2 championship leader, was 14th fastest in the morning session on the Red Bull Ring before handing over to the Spaniard for the rest of the weekend .
“It was unforgettable. The emotion is huge,” he told Sky Sports television.
“There was (Mercedes seven-time world champion Lewis (Hamilton) right behind me … all these world champions, a special feeling. I enjoyed every lap.”
Zhou said that Alonso, in his comeback season at the age of 39, was supportive.
“He gave me, I think, the most advice I have ever received from a racing driver. It was really cool,” he said.
“I was surprised that he came with me to the track ride (Thursday), showing me exactly what the car was like, the best way and how to avoid which bumps.”
Zhou admitted that the Spaniard would have been less happy if he had damaged the car with the risk of repairs impinging on second practice time.
Alpine race director Davide Brivio said the test driver performed well.
“He did a really good job, didn’t make any mistakes and had competitive lap times. He can be happy with his performance and his job, and we are very happy for him,” he said. stated in a press release.
Zhou was the first Chinese to participate in a Friday session since Ma Qing Hua took part in the Chinese Grand Prix testing with the old Caterham in 2013. No Chinese driver has ever raced in Formula 1.
(Report by Alan Baldwin in London, edited by Pritha Sarkar)