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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Zhou assured Sauber F1 crew can return to 2022 degree

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Zhou scored simply six factors in his second season in F1 in 2023, equalling his debut season tally, because the then-named Alfa Romeo crew struggled for competitiveness with its C43 amid a detailed midfield battle.

The Hinwil squad completed ninth, down from sixth in 2022 when Zhou’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas scored 49 factors along with the Chinese language driver’s six, which was the very best end result for the Swiss crew in a decade. 
Forward of its Audi revamp, the Sauber crew has already undergone a number of adjustments in its technical division, led by the arrival of former McLaren man James Key as technical director in September.

Talking to Autosport’s Chinese language sister web site, Zhou mentioned he’s assured the crew can get again to its 2022 efficiency ranges, along with his further expertise permitting him to now be a lot nearer to his Finnish team-mate than he was two years in the past.

“The traits within the growth thus far are nonetheless in keeping with what now we have been anticipating,” Zhou mentioned. “Hopefully the pre-season preparation, together with the three days of testing, will permit us to set a greater path for the entire season.  

“Because the personnel on the crew’s headquarters, particularly within the technical division, are continually being added and adjusted, we hope to create a greater and extra full crew.  

“I’ve my belief within the crew and really feel that this 12 months we will get again to the efficiency degree we had in my first season.”

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Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43

When requested the place it had gone flawed in 2023 and when the crew recognized the adjustments it wanted to implement for 2024, Zhou replied:

“Truly, across the summer season break of the 2023 season, our path [of the development] was already clear – the place does the automobile lack in grip.

“To start with in low temperatures or when the observe had much less grip, we frequently had much less margin to enhance when it comes to tyre temperatures than different groups, so we couldn’t ship the efficiency within the first and second sector. 

“Secondly, there have been some uncertainties with the automobile, reminiscent of correcting within the corners extra steadily than within the 2022 season, with some surprising oversteer or understeer. 

“These are issues that now we have been given suggestions to James [Key].”

This 12 months F1 will return to China for the primary time since 2019, which suggests Zhou will lastly get to contest a house race, having by no means raced on the Shanghai Worldwide Circuit earlier than in any class. 

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“I am undoubtedly completely happy to have my residence race in Shanghai. I have not raced or examined there, however to have the ability to do it at residence makes me stay up for it,” Zhou added.

“It was a bit disgrace that I have been racing in F1 for the previous two years [without the Chinese GP], however lastly I can fulfil this little want in 2024 to race in my hometown.” 

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