Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake’s Zhou Guanyu looks forward to hitting the ground running after a successful pre-season test at Bahrain International Circuit, having achieved strong results and gotten in significant mileage ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
After Thursday’s sessions were complete, Zhou’s fastest time of 1:33.723 landed him in eighth place on the time sheets. He was able to put in sixty-seven laps that morning, completing his programme in spite of a lengthy red flag.
He was encouraged by the result of the first day, already feeling at home in the team’s C43 after a smooth day’s running for the Chinese driver.
“It felt good to be back in the car today. Everything went quite smoothly, and I felt comfortable straight away. Of course, this is only the opening day of testing, and there is plenty of work ahead for everyone, but it’s been a positive start.
“We have been able to complete all of our schedule, even though there was a pretty long red flag at the very beginning of the day. Overall, I can consider myself quite happy.”
Zhou took the wheel for the entirety of Friday’s running, completing 132 laps for the team and ended up topping the time sheets with a 1:31.610. He said that he felt increasingly comfortable pushing for performance as the day went on, allowing him to set this benchmark.
Though his position as fastest on day two should be taken with a grain of salt due to testing conditions, he said that it was exciting to see himself holding the top spot.
“We are well aware this is testing, of course, and everyone is trying different settings, but it feels nice to see my name and that of the team up there in the timing sheets.
“It’s been a positive day overall, we got more mileage in and went through all the targets and tasks we had set for ourselves, so I can say I am happy. The car felt reasonably good, both in daytime and night-time conditions, and I felt more confident pushing as the day progressed.”
Gaining many positive takeaways from the pre-season test, Zhou said that he feels confident and prepared to get back to racing with next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“[Friday] was the final day of pre-season testing for me, and I am very much looking forward to the start of the season next week. I feel ready and excited about the new campaign and I can’t wait to be racing again.”