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Guanyu Zhou Unveils Motorsport Viewership Records His Compatriots are Breaking After His Debut

Vidit Dhawan

Guanyu Zhou Unveils Motorsport Viewership Records His Compatriots are Breaking After His Debut

Although the Chinese Grand Prix will return after a brief hiatus due to the recent restrictions due to the COVID pandemic, it had been a regular on the F1 calendar previously. The first race at the Shanghai International Circuit took place all the way back in 2004. Even though F1 has been taking place in China for a while now, the Chinese fans have never been seen as the most passionate. However, home hero Guanyu Zhou believes that the perception of Chinese fans towards F1 has changed ever since he made his debut in 2022.

While speaking on the most recent episode of Beyond the Grid, Zhou said, “Compared to when we were last time there, it’s been a life change. In terms of motorsport culture back home, because I remember my debut in Bahrain, we reached, at the time, the new highest viewership in TV or broadcasting online. So this was a huge boost“.

The 24-year-old then explained how Chinese fans are better able to connect with F1 now since they have a racer from their country. As a result, Zhou believes that he is fortunate to be in a position to be an inspiration for several of his fans back home.

If fans do turn up in big numbers for the Chinese GP this weekend, then it would be a remarkable change from what transpired a few years ago. Back in 2019, the organizers of the race had to cover their empty stands with ad hoardings.

Zhou hopes that as he gears up to compete in his first Chinese GP, he will receive a warm reception.

Can Guanyu Zhou help the Chinese GP have packed stands?

F1 expert Kym Illman earlier this year shockingly described the returning Chinese GP as a soulless race in one of his YouTube videos. He said, “The teams say there’s no soul, there’s no atmosphere in there because you’ve got the hospitality suites which are located in a garden area, you’ve got this area of nothing pretty much“.

However, he did add in his video that he believes that Zhou Guanyu could help invigorate more energy from the Chinese fans. “Maybe Zhou Guanyu will be the stimulus for a big rise in ticket sales this year“, Illman added.

However, the journalist believes that there is a good reason why the Chinese GP often lacks a good atmosphere. He explained that since the location of the Shanghai International Circuit is way away from the city, very few end up attending the race.

Since such are the challenges that the organizers of the Chinese GP encounter when it comes to fan turnout, the question is whether Guanyu Zhou can help change the atmosphere this year. The Chinese fans will most likely be eager to witness their home hero live for the first time despite the massive struggles he and Sauber have faced so far in the campaign.

Post Edited By:Tanish Chachra

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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