Zhou's motorsport career began in 2007. He started karting in China and did this until 2012. To progress, he moved to England to participate in the kart championships in Europe. The Chinese driver managed to become British and European Max Junior Champion in 2013.
Switch to the Formula classes
Zhou's achievements in karting were quickly noticed by Ferrari leading to a contract with the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2014. Soon after being inducted into Ferrari's training team, he made his debut in the Italian F4 Winter Trophy for the Prema Powerteam. He came in third twice. In 2015, he made his debut in the Italian F4 Championship where he immediately stood out and finished the season second behind his teammate.
After a successful year in Italian Formula 4, Zhou competed in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. That did not go as expected and he returned to Europe to make his debut in the European Formula 3 Championship. He finished this season in a mediocre 13th place. In 2017, the Chinese driver had another chance in Formula 3 at Prema Racing, but he barely managed to improve himself and this time finished eighth. After two years in Formula 3, the pressure was increased considerably in 2018. He took a victory in the first race, but then the results were disappointing again and he was again unable to finish higher than eighth in the championship.
A long period in Formula 2
Despite the disappointing results in Formula 3, the Chinese driver was still offered a chance to race in Formula 2 in 2019 for the new team UNI-Virtuosi Racing. In that season, he had some good results, finishing seventh in the standings and being named rookie of the year.
In 2020 he took five podiums and finished sixth in the standings for UNI-Virtuosi Racing. Once again, Zhou kept his Formula 2 seat with UNI-Virtuosi for the 2021 season. In that season, he achieved better results than the seasons before. In addition, at the beginning of the year there was already speculation that the Chinese might get a seat in Formula 1 in 2022. In Austria during the 2021 season, he made his debut in Formula 1. He drove the first free practice in the Alpine of Fernando Alonso and managed to set the fourteenth time.
In November 2021, the news came out that Zhou would indeed get a seat in Formula 1 for the Alfa Romeo Racing team in 2022. He drove there with Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas as a teammate.
Guanyu Zhou in 2024
Zhou did not disappoint in his debut year. Moreover, the new 2022 regulations proved a success for Alfa Romeo, who moved up from the penultimate place in the final standings in 2021 to sixth in the standings the following year. In 2023, Zhou scored six points, and Alfa Romeo dropped back to P9. If Zhou wants to stay on the grid in 2024, he will have to impress and challenge his teammate more consistently.