“Bottas’ advice helped me a lot”

Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou considers Valtteri Bottas one of the most pleasant teammates he has had so far and attributes the Finn to having helped him a lot with his advice.

Zhou, the first Chinese driver to enter the first category of motorsport, is also the only one noob having joined F1 during this 2022 season, alongside Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas. Together they form a new duo of drivers at Alfa Romeo from this year from Bottas, who has been in F1 since 2013, was at Mercedes until last season.

” [C’est] a very good companion“Zhou said in the podcast Beyond the network. “He’s very nice. He’s probably one of the coolest teammates I’ve worked with. The last time I had such a nice teammate was Callum. [Ilott, en Formule 2]. »

“Valtteri is great because with all his experience he was able to answer all my questions, sometimes he even asked me,‘ How are you feeling? Is there anything you would like to know more about? ‘ »

“One of the first things Valterri also told me was that F1 speaks 60% and drives 40%. In fact, we have a lot of time to spend with the media, a lot of questions to answer, often the same questions that arise. ”

In terms of driving, Guanyu Zhou found Valtteri Bottas ’approach especially useful before his first Formula 1 race in Bahrain.

“I remember very well that in Bahrain he said to me ten minutes before the pit lane opened, before he put on our helmet, ‘Do you want to ask me something?’ … because I knew how nervous I was.”said the 23-year-old driver who also scored a point in his first F1 race by finishing tenth in the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain.

“This is my debut in Formula 1. Since I arrived, we have worked very well together. What’s also good is that we have a very similar driving style, so we agree on the feedback on the car. »

“For the management of the team, it is very good for development. So far it has gone very well and we are still trying to maximize the full potential. »

Asked about the best advice Bottas gave him, Zhou recalled what the Finn said during the season-opening ceremony: “He told me : ‘This is your first qualifying session, you have to go step by step. Don’t think you have to give it your all the first time. If you can’t do that, you have one more attempt to do so. It calmed me down a bit. »

And also, for example in Baku, he told me: “Here you just have to go to the finish line. This is the first thing you have to do in Baku. ‘ It was before the race, he said, ‘Go to the finish line, you never know where you’ll end up.’ Things like this motivate me and help me a lot [devenir] better. »

Valtteri Bottas has also been full of praise for Guanyu Zhou, who celebrated his performance on the weekend of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where the Chinese ranked ahead of the Finn on the grid.

Zhou said about it : “I think this weekend has been a very good performance for me, and [je suis] very happy to continue working this way. But I wouldn’t be here without your help, and I think we’re very good companions. »

Guanyu Zhou even tried the coffee, of which Bottas is a big fan. ” The first time I tried their “castellano” coffee was in Imola. I never drank coffee before I got to F1.

“But with all the morning chores I have, not on the track, but more media activities and everything else, I have to stay awake, and that’s the problem. »

“I have a coffee before some races and qualifying sessions, just to help me restart. Now I really like coffee, but I’m not at Valtteri’s level, much less!”

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