Formula E ready to welcome Guanyu Zhou... if he doesn't have an F1 seat in 2025

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds has said he would like to see a Chinese driver join the sport in the near future. That's good, Guanyu Zhou is at the end of his contract with Sauber and does not seem to have any other opportunities in F1 in the short term...

Published on 05/07/2024 à 17:15

Dorian Grangier

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Formula E ready to welcome Guanyu Zhou... if he doesn't have an F1 seat in 2025

© Eric Alonso / DPPI

And if the future of Guanyu-Zhou was in Formula E ? In any case, this is the wish of the CEO of the 100% electric championship, Jeff Dodds. The latter told Reuters that having a Chinese driver in the discipline could have "an explosive effect", as China becomes a major player in Formula E (with a return to Shanghai last May) but also in the automotive sector, particularly in the electric vehicle market.

“The three markets we are absolutely trying to penetrate on a larger scale are North America, China and India, explained Jeff Dodds. In China alone we have over 100 million fans, which is absolutely crazy for a 10 year old company. »

“Because they are leading the electric vehicle revolution in this market and we are an electric championship, I would love nothing more than to have a strong Chinese driver in a team, he added. I think the combination of electric vehicles, a growing market, an already strong fan base, a return to China, a race in Shanghai with a Chinese driver, would bring even more interest and growth in the championship. »

Four years since the last Chinese driver in Formula E

Obviously, the first driver that comes to mind is Guanyu Zhou, who currently drives in Formula 1 with the Sauber team. After three unconvincing seasons, the Chinese is in the hot seat within the Swiss team: in the middle of a very turbulent transfer market, he could lose his seat at Hinwil, while the opportunities in other teams – in particular at Alpine, where it was announced for a time – have closed. Faced with the uncertain future of Guanyu Zhou, Formula E opens its doors wide to him.

“Without wanting to be controversial, he will face the challenge of maintaining his place in Formula 1, [but] my phone is always on and I would be delighted to receive that call, confided Jeff Dodds. But there will be other Chinese candidates in the race, so this is not a one-driver opportunity. I think there could be several [Chinese drivers in Formula E]. »

The last Chinese driver in Formula E is Ma Qing Hua, who competed in five E-Prixes in 2020 with the NIO 333 team. The latter, which is now called ERT, has represented China on the grid since the first season of the championship electric, in 2014-2015.

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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