Formula 1, will still explode in China after the debut of its first driver

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The debut of the first Chinese pilot in Formula 1 Zhou Guanyuhas gone unnoticed in the Asian giant, where this sport has begun to raise extraordinary interest, especially on social networks.

However, the arrival of the Chinese pilot has not yet matched a “pitch” in Chinawhere nothing Tencent Sports -which previously had the exclusive rights to broadcast the races on its streaming platforms- or on the state network CCTV They broadcast their debut live, which can only be seen on a few television channels in the province.

According to the local portal Baiduthe platforms are suspicious of the increasingly high prices being demanded for broadcasting popular sports in the West but that, in some instances, have passed through China unnoticed, although some experts have predicted that “Effect of Zhou” change things in the medium term.

Those who jumped on the car racing bandwagon were Chinese companies such as Lenovo, which a few weeks ago announced an agreement to become the official sponsor of Formula 1 starting this season.

According to the agreement, the brand will use its technology in championship operations and its devices will be integrated into the organization, an operation aimed at increasing the visibility of the world’s largest computer seller, according to its spokespersons.

Meanwhile, on the team where Zhou competes in Formula 1, Alfa Romeo, they are already rubbing their hands in the arrival of the Shanghainese driver, sponsored by Chinese conglomerates Guanyu Holding and Hengi Group, in addition to other European brands such as Swiss Hublot, German Puma or Dutch Playseat.

“It’s a good opportunity. We need to think about how to attract more sponsors,” Italian team manager Fred Vasseur said before the race.

According to Vasseur, it is expected that, apart from Chinese companies, European companies will come in the future to sponsor his team with the aim of gaining visibility in the Chinese market.

CHINA, THREE YEARS WITHOUT A GRAND PRIX

Another reason why attention has stuck to Formula 1 in China is the suspension of Shanghai Grand Prixwho were forced to relinquish being part of the calendar over the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to China’s strict restrictions on pandemic suppression, which include almost total closure of the country’s borders for foreigners.

For his part, the CEO of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicalirecently revealed that competition still exists China and its Shanghai Grand Prix until at least 2025, recalling that spectators attending the 2019 GP have grown by 30 per cent compared to last year.

The FIA ​​not only hopes to re-include China on the calendar “once conditions permit”, but Domenicali also expressed his interest in November in the Asian country hosting a “second race” because of the potential effect of Zhu.

Waiting for the Shanghai Grand Prix to return in 2023 -Pandemic circumstances allowing-, Chinese motorsport fans will have to settle for seeing Zhou through summaries -the time difference of most races don’t help either- or online, where the driver’s debut in Bahrain didn’t go unnoticed.

Up to 260 million people read posts about his first career online, where he finished in tenth position, thus getting his first score. In all, about 55,000 users praised his career performance.

“I can’t believe I just saw a Chinese driver pass through Hamilton”commented on a user on the Weibo social network -the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has been censored in the country-.

At 22 years old, the pilot was called to give way to Chinese sports as tennis player Li Na did in his day. -the first Grand Slam winner in 2011- or the basketball player Yao Ming -the first NBA debutant in 2002-, even the followers of Zhou, or Joe, known as the ‘paddock’, are still cautious.

According to some of the comments on Weibo, they will take a closer look at his progress to see if he is “taking advantage” of his extraordinary opportunity, as very few in China can afford to go to Sheffield at the age of 12 to carve out a career in career. at the highest level.

“Getting my first point in Formula 1 on my debut was something a year ago, or a few weeks ago, was just my dream.”Zhou commented after his first race, where he hoped to prove his worth against those who doubted his quality.

Source: La Verdad

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