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Zhou focused on superlicence points as a top priority this year. 

After three rounds of the FIA Formula 2 Championship Guanyu Zhou has had an in-different start to the 2020 season. This will be a setback for the Chinese driver whom had been widely tipped for a championship challenge.

The team themselves will consider the start of the season as a success given that they sit second in the team standings and will look to see further progress as we head into the fourth round in a weeks time.

However, despite the Chinese drivers bad luck so far Zhou’s quality and race craft has never been in question as the first phase progressed. He has had some unfortunate incidents amidst some real positive flash points. He will now be focused on closing the gap initially to his teammate and then the front runners for the driver’s championship.

The driver himself sit’s joint seventh in the standings, some fifty points behind the championship leader Robert Shwartzman and thirty-two points behind his team mate Callum Ilott.

The big story throughout the opening phase of this Formula 2 season had been regarding possible race seats in Formula 1 for 2021. There seems to be a separate battle with FDA drivers and a possbile Alfa Romeo or Haas seat due to their own links with Scuderia Ferrari.

The remaining other seats for Formula 2 graduates come via Williams and Renault following the lockdown movements involving Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniel Ricciardo’s moves.

With Mercedes seemingly sticking rather than twisting with Valteri Bottas and therefore George Russell’s position in Williams being locked in it only left Renault with a clear open seat.

That was until Fernando Alonso’s announced return to the French, Enstone-based team. This seemed to be a nod in the opposite direction to the Renault Sport Academy’s drivers and has changed the plans for many including their top prospect Zhou.

The focus for Zhou must have been making a push for the title in the 2020 season and then obtaining his FIA superlicence this year.

Zhou confirmed as much after the Formula 2 Feature Race in Styria, “Obviously for myself the key this season is getting the superlicence points. That would be the most important thing.”

Now with the announcement that they will look externally rather than internally to 2021 and 2022 how will that affect the RSA’s drivers and Zhou this year?

Zhou said, “Obviously we had a good chat before the announcement” and “It was nice that they told me everything and that they told me the plans of the team for the future.”

So what now for the Chinese driver? Does he himself stick or twist with the team or will he need to look outside the French team to get his opportunities?

Zhou is confident that if he can obtain the points this season for a superlicence he can find something either in or out of the RSA, “I think there will be quite a lot of opportunities for me.”

What are your thoughts on the Academy driver’s and how these changes in Formula 1 have affected all the driver’s chances for possible seats in the premier championship?

Let us know @F2inside on Twitter

*Image Credit: (C) Formula Motorsport Limited

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