Guanyu Zhou takes control of our guest column to preview the return to racing in Spielberg, Austria. The UNI-Virtuosi driver details how he spent his break from racing back home in China, discussing the virtual racing world, his fitness regime and his targets for the 2020 FIA Formula 2 campaign.

An extended break from racing

In this period, I have been back in my home country, so have been lucky enough to spend time with my family and see some of my friends. It has been kind of weird really, because I am not normally in China at this time of year. Usually, this is the busiest time of year for me and I am always travelling and at races, so it has been quite strange.

I think that in this period of lockdown for Europe, China has been getting much better, so I had a chance to get out and do some karting and training. I’ve obviously continued to work hard in this break, with a training programme that was set out by my physio.

We have also had a lot of virtual sim races, which were a lot of fun. It was good to have that competitive mindset and was really good to be racing against my friends.

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A fresh season

This season is really exciting. After a pretty positive year last season, I am looking to get my first victory as soon as I can. We have been working hard during the wintertime and in pre-season, analysing everything, and I think that we are ready to have a good year. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we can have a good season as a team.

I think that the biggest challenge is going to be the new 18-inch rims that we will have, and the driving style will obviously change a bit compared to last year. In terms of the car set-up side of things, I think it will depend on race-to-race, and track-to-track, but that will be a bit different as well.

After a pretty positive year last season, I am looking to get my first victory as soon as I can.

Tyre deg will change as well, so it is quite a lot of new stuff for all of us, and this will be a challenge, of course. There are quiet a lot of experienced drivers on track and I want to be having a good fight with them.

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An old friend

Having Callum Ilott alongside me will be great. I have known him since I was in karting, and he has always been a good friend, we have never had any trouble together. We are always having a good laugh outside of racing and he is a great guy. He is experienced as well, so I think that hopefully we can have a good fight together this year, while helping the team to develop our car to be stronger.

Hopefully, we can fight for the title.

See you soon, Zhou