Guanyu Zhou is planning a more aggressive approach to his third season in Formula One with the Sauber-run team now known as Stake.
China’s first and only F1 driver said it was time to be more ambitious and apply the lessons learned in his first two campaigns.
Sauber are competing as Stake F1 in 2024 and 2025 before transforming into the factory Audi team, with plenty of drivers eager to join and Zhou’s future uncertain.
“I think this is a year where I really want to change a little bit the way I approach, be a bit more aggressive, try and be a bit more ambitious just in general,” he told Reuters at the team’s livery launch.
“A lot of drivers are going to be out of contract so there will be a massive changing around in the driver market... I want to make sure I have a very strong season for my own future in Formula One.
“I was like a rookie the first year, second year I didn’t want to take high risks, I wanted to make sure I made fewer mistakes because you see drivers when they do mistakes they stay for less than two years and they are out,” he added.
“So that was kind of my approach for the first year and a half but now it’s time to change that.”
Swiss-based Sauber competed as Alfa Romeo last season and finished ninth of the 10 teams, with Valtteri Bottas scoring 10 of the 16 points.
Zhou finished ninth three times but claimed the fastest lap, without a bonus point, in the Bahrain season-opener. He also qualified fifth in the Hungarian Grand Prix but was caught in a first corner collision and finished 16th.
He also scored six points in 2022, when Bottas scored 49.
“I think consistency is still something I can definitely improve,” he said.
“I do feel that after two years in Formula One this is the year I want to extract everything I have, together with the package we have.
“The last two seasons have been a learning curve for me,” added Zhou, who will have a home Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai for the first time this April and has enjoyed time at home in the off-season.
“I do feel there’s a lot more potential for me to bring out this season.”
The season starts in Bahrain on March 2.
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