Zhou’s confidence high after “greatest race since I arrived in this paddock”

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Zhou Guanyu says he heads into the Canadian Grand Prix on a wave of confidence after taking ninth place in the last round.

The Alfa Romeo driver secured his second points finish of the 2023 season at the Spanish Grand Prix, crossing the line in tenth place but gaining a position from Yuki Tsunoda who served a five-second post-race penalty.

It was only the third time Alfa Romeo has finished in the points over the opening seven rounds of the season. Zhou says he was especially encouraged to have secured points in a race when all 20 drivers reached the finish line.

“It’s a good feeling, obviously,” Zhou said. “It wasn’t like chaotic [things] happening – it was purely on pace, race craft to get these points.

“I think it’s very important, especially when we have these proper tracks and try this new package we had. It seems to be working in the right way.”

As the fifth points finish in Zhou’s F1 career since he joined F1 with Alfa Romeo last season, he said the result is a sign of how he has improved as a driver in his second season.

“For myself, I think it was just one of the greatest races I did since I arrived in this paddock,” he said. “I was really happy with the result I was able to achieve.

“Obviously I’m feeling good, especially knowing what I’m capable of doing that it just boosts my [confidence] level up and I just need to build on that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Alfa Romeo was one of only three teams which did not bring upgrades to its car at the last round in Barcelona. However, like Mercedes, they introduced several updated parts during the previous weekend in Monaco, including a new floor, rear suspension and rear wing.

Zhou says the performance of the car around a permanent circuit like Catalunya shows the team’s upgrades have succeeded in making Alfa Romeo more competitive.

“The package in general really just gives you more aero performance,” he explained.

“Some of our weakness like the top speed, all that is still here. More drag compared to other teams. But in general, I think in terms of just aero performance in the corners, I think it made a good step. It’s not big, it’s a few tenths but it’s just enough to put you [from] the bottom of the midfield to fighting with the top of the midfield guys. So it’s very crucial to have that.”

Arriving at a circuit where he secured his career-best result of eighth last year, Zhou says he feels Alfa Romeo will have a good opportunity for another strong result this weekend.

“In general I feel a bit more comfortable arriving here after the race in Spain,” he said, “because in Spain with the new layout – with the last corner almost flat – I thought we were going to be struggling there a lot but it turns out we were actually performing quite well.

“I feel like here it should be not a big issue because here still it depends on how you get the tyres to be working on lap one. And also the car over the kerbs, you have to take all these massive apex bump kerbs.

“So in general I think the track doesn’t really have a disadvantage for us. We’ll just focus on what we’ve been doing and we should have the speed that we had last time.”

Become a RaceFans Supporter

RaceFans is run thanks in part to the generous support of its readers. By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the same in whichever currency you use) you can help cover the costs of creating, hosting and developing RaceFans today and in the future.

Become a RaceFans Supporter today and browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Canadian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.