Fans crashed website buying tickets to my Shanghai grandstand – Zhou

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In the round-up: Anticipation for the first Chinese Grand Prix in five years is so high fans crashed a website selling tickets for the race, says Zhou Guanyu.

In brief

Zhou expects “memorable” first home race

Sauber driver Zhou is poised to become the first Chinese driver to compete in their home grand prix when F1 returns to the Shanghai International Circuit in April. He said interest in the series has ballooned since F1 last visited the track in 2019.

“I was at the dinner table at eight o’clock, that was when the ticket was selling, and then people was just texting me that my grandstand had been sold out in four minutes,” he said. “In reality, the first 10 minutes, because the app was shutting down by too many users trying to buy the tickets.

“So it’s great news, I think, especially for China, coming back after five seasons, to finally have the grand prix there and just to see the whole audience, how much it’s been growing, has been built over the last past few years.”

Zhou said his arrival in F1 two years ago as China’s first race driver to enter the series has “made a massive impact” on its popularity. “It is great to see. Also a lot of the young generations, they are starting go karts, racing abroad more often compared to the age I was, moving out to try to do racing in motorsports or to gradually get into Formula 1.

“So it’s exciting, not just my grandstand, the whole ticket has been sold out for the grand prix, so can’t wait for that. And it’s a sprint race weekend so I think the fans can have definitely more entertainment and there will be more racing action going on so it’s going to be a memorable weekend.”

Haas VF-24 completes first run

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Silverstone, 2024
Hulkenberg shook down the new Haas at Silverstone

Nico Hulkenberg gave the Haas VF-24 its first shakedown at Silverstone yesterday. He completed 200 kilometres of running, as the maximum distance permitted has doubled this year.

Hauger leads wet F2 test in Bahrain

Unusually, rain affected both Formula 2 and Formula 3 testing in Bahrain as well as a Formula 4 UAE at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

The rain in Bahrain complicated F2 teams’ first test with a full complement of the new Dallara F2 2024 chassis. Dennis Hauger ended the day on top for MP Motorsport with a best time of 1’53.175.

Leon leads F3 test

Van Amersfoort’s Noel Leon led the F3 test in Bahrain after drivers conducted only minimal running in the morning session due to the wet track surface. Leon covered 19 laps and his best effort of 1’46.657 put him just 15 thousandths of a second ahead of Oliver Goethe.

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Al Azhari takes F4 UAE points lead ahead of finale

Freddie Slater returned to Yas Marina leading the Formula 4 UAE series but fell to second in the standings at the conclusion of the triple-header yesterday having come away from the weekend point-less. Keanu Al Azhari, who tangled with Slater in Saturday’s opening race, mustered a second-place finish in yesterday’ second encounter to take a 16-point lead into this weekend’s finale at the Dubai Autodrome.

Two more new winners yesterday means the series has now seen eight different drivers take victory over the 12 races to date. They were taken by Gabriel Stilp, who won a rare rain-hit race at the track, and Rashid Al Dhaheri, the latter moving into fifth in the standings.

Bilinki poised to clinch Formula Regional Oceania title

Roman Bilinski increased his lead over nearest points rival Liam Sceats with second and fifth places in yesterday’s two Formula Regional Oceania rounds at Ruapuna. Victories went the way of Sceats and Michael Shin. Bilinksi, who won the weekend’s opening race, goes into this weekend’s finale at Highlands Motorsport Park with a 56-point lead over Sceats.

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Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

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Comment of the day

There were loads of great suggestions for this week’s Caption Competition, especially those from Ruben, Gilles Amon, MichaelV12, Andy Kennedy and Steve Rogers, but EffWunFan is our winner:

Mick Schumacher, Esteban Ocon, Ferdinand Habsburg, Alpine A424 and Alpine A524 launch, 2024

Estaban was adamant that he’d lost a Euro down the side of the seat.
EffWunFan (@cairnsfella)

Happy birthday!

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On this day in motorsport

  • Born 50 years ago today: Future F1 and IndyCar racer – plus Formula Nippon and Super GT champion – Toranosuke Takagi

Author information

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...

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11 comments on “Fans crashed website buying tickets to my Shanghai grandstand – Zhou”

  1. Interesting that Stake still benefits from advertising such as in the header image here meanwhile Sauber have done a complete cleanse of the name on their site. As for Zhou, that is very likely the only reason he’s still in F1, not to say that there’s anything wrong with that at all. It’s actually great to hear more kids are able to get involved with motorsport because of it.

    1. I do think Zhou has earned his drive (more or less), he’s certainly not one of the hot prospects, but then again, their cars haven’t exactly been material to show off too often either.

      To me it is great that chinese are buying up tickets, sure, they are a bit the same as the Dutch coming out in droves for Verstappen (Jos that is) and getting to find out about F1 for the first time. And unless there comes a next chinese driver after him (like Max did!) to fight for championships, I am sure that Chinese interest will dwindle after he is gone. But it’s still a lot better than going there and having gigantic grandstands that are covered in advertising boards to hide the emptyness.

  2. When to expect the 1st Chinese Formula One team? That would be fantastic.

    1. Same time the first Saudi/middle eastern team will come. That would be fantastic.

  3. VF-24 looks more or less as I expected & Haas is again one of those teams that freely show their actual car in shakedown.

    While the most recent WEC Bahrain 6H event received last year’s worth of rain, last weekend’s events probably received the same for both Bahrain & UAE.
    On a side note, the new-spec F2 rear wing looks similar to present-SF car spec rear wing.

  4. On the F1 website it says ticket sales have not started yet for China, and gives you the option to be notified when they open????
    Anyone know how to buy them?

    1. Maybe they decided to sell only for locals so far?

  5. There’s probably more to the story but Button selling his girlfriends car as his own is pretty low. I wonder if there is anybody with integrity that has over 1 million dollars. I have my doubts.

    1. What’s worse – if true – is not just accepting that it was misleading, and taking what for him would be a small hit, and taking the car back.

    2. I wonder if there is anybody with integrity that has over 1 million dollars. I have my doubts.

      Sure they do – just ask them.
      And if you want a second opinion, ask them twice.

      Reply moderated
    3. Uhhh definitely! A million dollars is a pretty low bar these days.

      Probably about 50 million is where the pendulum swings. Anyone still hoarding past that has not a shred.

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