F1 Driver Zhou Guanyu Sheds Tears After Missing Podium at Chinese Grand Prix

Competing in his home country for the first time, Zhou finished 14th, but received plenty of love from fans

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7 hours ago 1 mins read

This past weekend, Shanghai hosted its first Formula 1 race since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The event also marked the first time a Chinese driver has competed in a F1 event on home soil, with Shanghai-born Zhou Guanyu getting behind the wheel for Sauber. With a major marketing push for the event centered on Zhou, expectations among Chinese fans were high. With chants of “Guanyu! Guanyu!” filling the Shanghai Audi International Circuit, Zhou had plenty of support. But although he was able to finish 9th in F1 Sprint on Saturday, sadly he came 14th in the actual race on Sunday.

This disappointing finish brought Zhou to tears on the race track.


Zhou getting emotional post-race. Image via Weibo.

It was an emotional homecoming for Zhou. The driver caught the first Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai as a five year old in 2004, before heading to Europe to follow his motor sports dreams. At age twelve, Zhou moved to the United Kingdom to pursue his F1 dream by karting at Westbourne School. Throughout his teenage years, he claimed first place at numerous American and British karting championships. For six more years, Zhou worked his way from F4 to F1. He gained his F1 contract in 2021, but due to the pandemic, still had to wait three more years before his debut home race.

Although publicly shedding tears is often seen as taboo in China, fans came together for Zhou. The top comment on F1’s Weibo post reads, “A person’s determination to reach his dreams by persevering through 20 years is worth praising. You’ve got this, Guanyu.” Others felt that Zhou’s mere presence fulfilled China’s F1 dream: “Watching F1 as a kid, [I’ve] always wondered when there would be a Chinese F1 driver.”

Zhou himself still felt positive about the weekend. After the race he pinned a photo of himself crying to the top of his Instagram page, writing “A day to remember forever” and adding “What can I say… This crowd, this weekend has been unforgettable, thank you everyone for making it so special to me, I loved every second of it.”


Zhou’s caption on his pinned Instagram post.

Banner image via Weibo.

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Pour yourself a stiff one, we'll be with y