Zhou sympathises with Oscar Piastri’s initial F1 struggles

Zhou Guanyu sympathises with hos former Alpine academy teammate Oscar Piastri's recent struggles as he backs the Australian to rebound in the coming F1 events

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Zhou Guanyu says he sympathises with Oscar Piastri’s initial struggles in his maiden Formula 1 campaign, having experienced what it’s like to be a rookie in 2022.

Piastri had shown flashes of speed during the opening flyaways of the season, qualifying ninth in Jeddah, but the 2021 Formula 2 champion had to wait until the Australian Grand Prix to get on the board, finishing eighth.

“I think it was very relative to me last year,” said Zhou exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “He didn’t have the best start, but still, he showed he has the speed [particularly] in Q3 in Jeddah.

“That was quite impressive from him. So firstly, happy to see him, and I knew that he will be here in F1. It’s good to see him on the grid this year racing together.

“Apart from that, I think [he’s] just having a rocky patch you have to break through [it], and with more time, [it] just suddenly clicks inside you. I am sure in a few races, he’ll be there.”

Zhou on his future in F1

Nico Hulkenberg and Zhou Guanyu battle for position at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Alfa Romeo F1 Team

With F1 only having 20 seats on the current grid, some teams have continuously rotated their lineups after two to three seasons.

It means young drivers have had less time to get comfortable in F1, and with second chances in the sport becoming more of a rarity, their time in the sport could be over just as soon as it was beginning.

“I’m sure that’s how it is,” explained Zhou. “In other categories, you always know that if you do well, you can move up. If you make a mistake, maybe next year, you still have another chance.

“So this sport is hard, for all the drivers, that’s how it goes, and I’m sure that the most important [thing] for drivers is just starting [the season] where I finished off to become a complete driver.

“If the team and the paddock can see that. There’s no question why I couldn’t stay longer because I always aim to try and stay here as long as I can until I finish racing.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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