SAO PAULO : China’s only Formula One driver Guanyu Zhou said on Thursday there was still a good chance of his home Grand Prix happening in 2023 despite strict measures to curb COVID-19.
His remarks came after Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali said the race remained in doubt due to tighter curbs in Chinese cities to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus.
“Although the COVID situation in China remains an issue and it is not certain we will race there in 2023, we continue to monitor the situation,” Domenicali told analysts on a Liberty Media third quarter earnings call last week.
The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai is scheduled to take place on April 16 as the fourth race in next year’s 24-round calendar, marking China’s return after three years’ absence.
Zhou, 23, who made his F1 debut this year and has had his contract extended by Alfa Romeo, said he still expects the event to go ahead.
“I think April we’ll have to see (the COVID situation). There is still a good chance that it is happening,” he told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
“There is a question mark if it is happening in April or later in the year, we’ll have to see,” Zhou said, noting that a home race would be one of the most special of his career.
With two races to go in 2022, Zhou is 18th in the championship with six points. His team mate Valtteri Bottas has scored 47.
“I had up and downs but I’m quite happy because I was able to achieve the target I was set – for myself and also for the team,” he said.