Zhou Guanyu says scoring a point on his F1 debut was something he “would only dream of” after he finished 10th in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Zhou became the 66th driver in the sport’s history to score a point on his debut as Alfa Romeo earned in one race only four points fewer than they did in the entire 2021 season.
Speaking after the race, Zhou said he was “speechless” after an “emotional” race.
“It’s amazing, I’m so speechless. It was such an emotional race, so intense – not physically, mentally,” he said.
“And to be scoring my first ever Formula 1 points on my debut is something I would only dream of one year ago, or two weeks ago.
“Everything has come so quickly. I’m just so happy, so proud of the team behind me, proud of my team-mate (Valtteri Bottas, P6). We worked so hard together to maximise the car and then a huge reward for us – it’s a day I never will forget.”
The Alfa Romeo car looked strong all weekend and as a result, Zhou was able to pull off some overtakes during the race.
Points! Well done boys. A big effort, good overtakes and we're showing that this year we're here to fight.
BOT 👉🏻 P6
ZHO 👉🏻 P10#BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/ECS6AcbWTD
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) March 20, 2022
“Once I had a problem in Turn 1, went to anti-stall so I had to go to neutral, restart everything and that was a bit of strange stuff,” explained Zhou. “Then I knew my chance was very low to get to the points, so I was like ‘fully attack’, only eyes forward.
“And then I think even when Lewis [Hamilton] came out with hard [tyres] I overtook him because even though I knew he was much quicker, every opportunity I couldn’t miss, I wanted to gain that gap I lost.
“So I don’t know how that confidence came. I think it’s eager[ness], that I want to finish in the points, so it really means so much that all this happens once I was announced to be in F1, then to now a lot of talks, a lot of stuff and I always said I deserve to be here, and today I think I showed everything and that’s a great relief.”
It was a good day all round for Alfa Romeo with Zhou’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas earning eight points from his sixth-placed finish.
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