Guanyu Zhou: I hope the car has become fast

Guanyu Zhou: I hope the car has become fast

The day before, Stake presented a car for the 2024 season: the C44. Team driver Guanyu Zhou shared his expectations of the new product and the coming season in an interview.

Question: How does it feel to be back at work after winter break?
Guanyu Zhou: Of course, it’s great to be back! I’m glad that I was able to take a break in 2023 after a long season, but now I’m looking forward to the new season. Obviously there have been a lot of changes: we have new staff and a new structure, as well as a completely new car this season. I’m ready to fight and ready to attack. I hope the Stake team has a very successful year ahead.

Question: What was your reaction when you first saw the new car?
Guanyu Zhou: The first thing you notice are the colors! We have taken a new, very interesting approach to the livery that has not been seen before in Formula 1.

Of course I hope the car will be fast. The team put a lot of effort into this, especially in the second half of last year. After the summer holidays we realized what exactly we needed to improve and developed a work plan for the winter.

Now it’s time to put all the pieces together and hit the road. Expectations are high, but at the same time we only know where we stand compared to our opponents at the beginning of the season. In any case, a lot of effort has gone into creating the new car, so I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel soon.

Question: After several years, the Chinese Grand Prix returns to the calendar this season. What does this race mean to you?
Guanyu Zhou: The return of the Chinese Grand Prix means a lot to me. I have been waiting for this stage for the past two years – since my debut in Formula 1. I always hoped that one day I would go to the start of my home race because the local fans would support me.

I was at the first race in Shanghai in 2004. I watched the race from the stands and dreamed of one day being on the start line. It’s amazing that all tickets are already sold out; it took less than two days! I hope I get my best result and satisfy the fans.

Question: You will soon be driving your new car onto the circuit for the first time. How quickly can you assess a car’s potential?
Guanyu Zhou: Every year a driver looks forward to his first trip to the track in a new car. This year I am especially looking forward to this moment, because Valtteri and I have put a lot of effort into working with the team to determine the necessary direction for the development.

Once we hit the track, we’ll know if our efforts have paid off. Before the first race of the season, the day you look forward to most is the day you hit the track. I’m looking forward to riding in Barcelona on Friday. I hope our car turned out to be very fast.

Question: What are your expectations for the coming season?
Guanyu Zhou: I want to take a step forward. I want the team to earn points consistently and reach the qualifying finals more often. The car must become more stable so that we can always get the most out of it.

I want to become more demanding of myself, so that I can get the most out of myself when necessary. The past two seasons have been full of ups and downs: we qualified well on Saturday, but fell short on Sunday. It also happened the other way around.

This season is about minimizing those things, always being at the peak of your potential and delivering results every weekend.

Source: F1 News

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