Guanyu Zhou, the Chinese Alpine academy driver, will make his Formula 1 debut in FP1 at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Zhou currently sits 1st in the 2021 F2 standings and has two wins and two poles. He will borrow Fernando Alonso’s car for the session, he will be the second Chinese driver to compete in Formula 1 after Ma Quinghua eight years ago.

Zhou said: “Driving in FP1 at a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend is like a dream coming true and another step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 driver.”

“I’m preparing myself as much as I can to be ready and also ensure that I’m able to complete all the targets and plans that the team has set me to do. There have not been many Chinese drivers in Formula 1, so to be behind the wheel of an F1 car during a race weekend is going to be a very proud feeling.

“It’s going to be even more special that I’m driving Fernando’s car as he inspired me to pursue a career in racing when I was young. I’m very happy with my achievements so far and I’m very thankful for the support I have from those around me. I aim to maximize this opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Alpine Team principal Laurent Rossi added: “The challenge for young drivers to get into F1 is incredibly hard, and we are proud to support upcoming talent on this road.”

Mia Sharizman, Alpine Academy Director concluded by saying: “It has been a long but rewarding process with Zhou putting the hard work in behind the scenes to get to this point in his career.”

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