Zhou couldn’t show “huge step” made at Alfa Romeo

In the round-up: Zhou Guanyu believes the progress he has made in his first season as a Formula 1 driver has been disguised by Alfa Romeo’s fading form.

In brief

Zhou confident he’s made “huge step” during rookie season

Alfa Romeo’s rookie driver Zhou says he’s made a “huge step” as a driver throughout his first 16 races in Formula 1.

Zhou is currently 17th in the drivers’ championship having taken the team’s first point in seven races at Monza. He feels he is driving better than at the start of the season, but that Alfa Romeo have fallen behind their rivals in the development race, preventing him from demonstrating his improvement behind the wheel.

“It’s a little bit of a shame just because I did a huge step during the season, I think from Montreal onwards,” Zhou said. “But then the other teams did a bigger step in terms of upgrades, so we were a little bit behind in terms of performance and couldn’t show it.

“If I had [done] maybe earlier in the season that we could have even more points for the team. Now I just have to give everything every weekend.”

Electric junior series offers free seat for 2023

ERA, the first international electric-powered junior single-seater series, has announced a ‘Next Gen Racer’ competition that will reward one driver with a free seat in the series’ 2023 season.

The championship, which was launched this year after several delays but has only held one race at Zolder, will host several test days in November at France’s Pau-Arnos circuit. Drivers have to pay to enter, and after being assessed on their on and off-track qualities a winner will be selected who will get a 2023 deal that covers the full season and pre-season testing.

Runners-up in the competition will have the chance to be named reserve drivers for the series. ERA is yet to announce its 2023 calendar.

F3 champion Victor Martins wants to stay with Art GP for F2 step

Formula 3 champion Victor Martins has his sights on graduation to Formula 2 in 2023 with the same Art Grand Prix team he won his title with this year.

“I did what I had to do this year,” said Martins. “It’s true that I have done mistakes, but I believe that I am the kind of driver who will improve after that straight away, who realises that sometimes you are not doing a good job,” he said.

“I feel that I’m fully prepared for F2. I believe in myself, I believe in Art this year. I will hope to be in F2, and I know I will have the chance to do great things there.”

The Alpine junior drivers says it was partly the French team’s decision that he spend a second year in F3. “They put me every time in the right category, in the right team with the right people,” he said. Martins believes he is now “in a good position” for Alpine to send him to F2 with a top team, with his personal preference being Art GP.

“If I have the right mindset and I do a good job in the winter break, and I go into F2, I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t get the [Alpine F1] seat in the future,” he added.

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