RACING

Zhou couldn’t show “huge step” made at Alfa Romeo

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In the summary: Zhou Guanyu believes the progress he made in his first season as a Formula 1 driver has been masked by Alfa Romeo’s declining form.

In short

Zhou confident he made ‘big step’ in rookie season

Alfa Romeo rookie driver Zhou says he has made a “big step” as a driver in his first 16 races in Formula 1.

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Zhou is currently 17th in the Drivers’ Championship after taking the team’s first point in seven races at Monza. He feels he is driving better than at the start of the season, but that Alfa Romeo has fallen behind his rivals in the development race, preventing him from demonstrating his improvement behind the wheel.

“It’s a bit of a shame just because I took a big step during the season, I think starting in Montreal,” Zhou said. “But then the other teams took a bigger step in terms of upgrades, so we were a bit behind in terms of performance and we couldn’t show it.

“If I had [done] maybe earlier in the season we could have even more points for the team. Now I just have to give it my all every weekend.

Electric junior series offers free place for 2023

ERA, the world’s first series of electric-powered junior single-seaters, has announced a “Next Gen Racer” competition that will reward a driver with a free spot in the series’ 2023 season.

The championship, which was launched this year after several delays but only held one race at Zolder, will host several test days in November at the French circuit of Pau-Arnos. Drivers must pay to participate, and after being assessed on their qualities on and off the track, a winner will be selected who will get a 2023 deal that covers the full season and pre-season testing.

The finalists of the competition will have the chance to be named reserve pilots for the series. ERA has yet to announce its 2023 schedule.

F3 champion Victor Martins wants to stay with Art GP for F2 stage

Formula 3 champion Victor Martins is aiming to move up to Formula 2 in 2023 with the same Art Grand Prix team he won his title with this year.

“I did what I had to do this year,” Martins said. “It’s true that I made mistakes, but I think I’m the kind of driver who will immediately improve after that, who realizes that sometimes you don’t do a good job,” said he declared.

“I feel I’m perfectly prepared for F2. I believe in myself, I believe in the Art this year. I hope to be in F2, and I know I will have the chance to do great things there. .”

Junior Alpine drivers say it was partly the French team’s decision to spend a second year in F3. “They put me in the right category every time, on the right team with the right people,” he said. Martins believes he is now “in a good position” for Alpine to send him to F2 with a top team, his personal preference being Art GP.

“If I have the right mindset and do a good job during the winter break, and I get into F2, I see no reason why I wouldn’t get the [Alpine F1] seat in the future,” he added.

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