Formula 1

Zhou Guanyu’s Formula 1 Future: The Importance of Consistency

Sauber's Xevi Pujolar Warns Against Inconsistency Ahead of 2024 Season

Sauber’s head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, has delivered a stern message to Zhou Guanyu as the talented Chinese driver gears up for his third season in Formula 1 in 2024. Pujolar’s words are a stark reminder of the unforgiving nature of the pinnacle of motorsport, where consistency is key, and any lapse can prove costly.

In a recent interview, Pujolar didn’t mince words when discussing Zhou’s performance. “There is no margin for error,” he emphasized. It’s a statement that encapsulates the harsh reality of Formula 1, where success hinges on consistently delivering exceptional performance, race after race.

The 2023 season marked a significant chapter for the Sauber team, which operated under the Alfa Romeo name for the last time. However, it wasn’t a season to remember as the team finished in the ninth position in the standings, accumulating a total of 16 points. This represented a substantial decline of 39 points compared to their 2022 performance.

Zhou Guanyu, a promising talent in the world of motorsport, undoubtedly bears a share of the responsibility for the team’s disappointing season. As he gears up for his third year in Formula 1, he must heed Pujolar’s warning and focus on ironing out the inconsistencies in his performance. In a sport where every fraction of a second counts, lapses in consistency can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Heading into the 2024 season, all eyes will be on Zhou Guanyu. He has the talent and the potential to make a mark in Formula 1, but he must work tirelessly to eliminate the errors that plagued his previous seasons. The Formula 1 world is unforgiving, and only those who can maintain a high level of consistency can hope to succeed on the grandest stage of motorsport.

Guanyu contributed to earning six of those points, achieving three ninth-place finishes, although he found himself outperformed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, especially during qualifying sessions. Following a season marked by fluctuations in performance, Pujolar outlined the strategy to collaborate with Guanyu during the winter break to assist him in achieving greater consistency. When addressing the media, he articulated:

“In some conditions, it’s been a struggle a bit more and we’re trying to understand what we can give him with the car and how we can work with the tyres, just to make sure he’s more consistent.

“In some conditions, he is a bit more sensitive to what he is feeling. The differences are not big but in terms of positions they are big, so we need to work on that for next year.

“There is no room for any small drop or mistake.”

Guanyu expressed his relief as the demanding season drew to a close following a strenuous race in Abu Dhabi, where he crossed the finish line in 17th place. He also disclosed that the C43 F1 car’s performance was hampered by a dearth of upgrades. He remarked:

“Glad it’s finished, it’s been a very long tough season.

“So obviously, we have things planned quite big over next year. So looking forward to try that out in January.

“A lot of our main rivals from the beginning of the season, they were able to just change massively, probably introduce a new car or B car over the season and made a very good step forward.

“Obviously, we knew we were going to get that plan for next season. So this year was more about suffering the last few races.

“And then of course, you know, it’s been a little bit inconsistent, unpredictable in terms of performance track by track, but we definitely in general don’t really have the pace, especially over the race distance.

“You know, it just seems to be difficult to keep up with the top 10, even the top, like, let’s say 13 guys.”

The Sauber driver further mentioned that the car for the 2024 season will be constructed on a completely fresh design philosophy, overseen by the Technical Director, James Key, who joined the team this year after his stint at McLaren. He concluded:

“We’re going to have a completely new car so it’s gonna be a different look. 

“Can’t say more than that.

“But yeah, it’s already planned a few races to go. Everything is going really quite well back home. So, looking forward to try that I get, yeah, and get some rest after afterwards.”

Related Articles

Back to top button