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Formula 1 Returns to China for the 1st Time Since Covid-19; But Future of Zhou Guanyu Remains Uncertain

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The return of the Chinese Grand Prix after a five-year hiatus due to COVID-19 coincides with Guanyu’s home race weekend. Zhou Guanyu is the only Chinese F1 driver and as per sources he might not be there for long.

This has reignited discussions about his future with Alfa Romeo Sauber (formerly Alfa Romeo) for the 2025 season. A recent tweet by Kunal Shah sparked the debate:

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“It’s “race week”! The Chinese GP makes a return after a 5-year-long COVID-19-induced gap. Zhou Guanyu’s home race. Would you retain him for 2025? Some Zhou stats: – Yet to out-qualify Valtteri Bottas in 2024 – Has failed to get out of Q1 in the last 7 races.”

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Zhou Guanyu’s Performance in 2024

Formula 1 Returns to China for the 1st Time Since Covid-19; But Future of Zhou Guanyu Remains Uncertain - THE SPORTS ROOM

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The tweet highlights Zhou Guanyu’s struggles in qualifying throughout 2024. He hasn’t been able to outperform his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, a veteran driver with multiple race wins. Additionally, failing to progress beyond Q1 (the first qualifying session) in the last seven races suggests a need for improvement.

Despite these struggles, there are arguments for retaining Guanyu for 2025:

  • Learning Curve: As a rookie in 2022 and in his second year in 2024, Zhou is still on a learning curve. Formula One racing demands immense experience, and another year with the team could significantly improve his performance.

  • Commercial Value: Zhou Guanyu is the first and only Chinese driver in Formula One. He brings significant commercial value to the team, especially with the Chinese Grand Prix returning. Sponsoring companies eager to tap into the Chinese market will be more likely to partner with a team featuring a Chinese driver.

  • Development Potential: While the statistics paint a challenging picture, Zhou might possess untapped potential. Continued guidance from the team and further experience could lead to a significant breakthrough in his performance.

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