Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar has praised Zhou Guanyu’s approach to race weekends as he approaches the end of the first half of his maiden Formula 1 season.
The Chinese rookie hadn’t been in the points since his Grand Prix debut in Bahrain after a series of reliability issues whilst running in the top 10 had put to any chance of him adding to his single point from the series’s curtain-raiser.
But in Canada, it all came good for Zhou with his first Q3 appearance after mastering difficult conditions before coming home ninth, which later became eighth after Fernando Alonso was handed a ten-second penalty for weaving.
Later in a post-race debrief in which MotorLAT were present, Pujolar praised Zhou’s performance throughout the weekend and his progress as a Grand Prix driver.
“He’s done a very solid job this weekend; it’s good we’ve got both drivers fighting for Q3 (as) that will help us in the next few races to score points. Zhou was already doing a very solid job from the beginning of the season initially; he struggled a bit with the start and on Lap 1, but even here, he’s made good progress, and today, the start and Lap 1 were very solid, (his) pace in the race (was) as well so he’s doing a very good job.”
Pujolar expanded on his praise for Zhou, stating that if he sticks to his current approach of building race weekends over time, he will have a bright future in the sport.
“He’s building the weekends progressively, and even in the race, he’s always trying to absorb the information we give to him, and he’s using that to perform what we also need to do with the tyres not only during the race but during Qualifying, and I think also taking this kind of approach without doing mistakes and incidents then it helps to build confidence race by race, and that has been his strength as well. If he can keep like this, I think he has a great future in Formula 1.”