RACE DEBRIEF

    Guanyu Zhou has moved one step closer to becoming Formula 1’s first ever Chinese racer, after Renault announced they have promoted the 20-year-old to the role of Test Driver for the 2020 campaign.

    Zhou was a development driver for Renault in 2019, and his promotion follows Jack Aitken’s departure from the French team to take up a similar role with Williams.

    The Shanghai-born racer was F2’s highest-placed rookie last season, seamlessly stepping up from the now defunct European F3 Championship. While he is yet to win in F2, he scored five podiums across the season, as well as taking pole at Silverstone.

    READ MORE: 2020 ‘pivotal’ for Renault after team missed last season’s targets, says Abiteboul

    His promotion will see increased participation on Grand Prix weekends, as well as at the team’s Enstone-based factory, as he gets set for an expected F2 title challenge in 2020. Zhou will be joined in F2 by fellow Renault Academy driver Christian Lundgaard, who will drive for ART Grand Prix.

    Formula One World Championship
    (L to R): Max Fewtrell; Christian Lungaard; Guanyu Zhou; Oscar Piastri; Hadrien David at Renault's season launch in Paris on Wednesday

    “I’m looking forward to becoming the team’s Test Driver,” said Zhou. “It’s another step up from being Development Driver in 2019.

    READ MORE: Renault add two young champions to 2020 academy line-up

    “This year I have an even better opportunity, meaning working harder than before, getting as much information as possible for driving a Formula 1 car and, at the same time, improving the areas the team needs to work on to help them get better in the future.”

    Renault teased their 2020 R.S.20 on Wednesday afternoon in Paris in an all-black testing livery ahead of pre-season testing, which begins on February 19.