The Renault Formula 1 team has promoted Guanyu Zhou to the tole of test driver for the upcoming 2020 season.

Zhou combined his former role as Renault development driver alongside a campaign in Formula 2 in 2019, with the Chinese racer finishing the year as the highest-placed rookie in seventh.

While he was not victorious, Zhou claimed one pole position and five podium finishes across the season for the UNI-Virtuosi squad, who he will remain with once more in 2020.

His promotion comes after former test and reserve driver Jack Aitken announced his departure to take up a similar role with Williams.

“I’m looking forward to becoming the team’s test driver,” Zhou said.

“It’s another step up from being development driver in 2019 where I did a lot of simulator work and some R.S.17 tests. The feedback and experience in a Formula 1 car is getting better and the team is happy with my progress and input so far.

“They’ve given me a lot of trust and I also trust them, so that relationship works very well,” he added.

“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.”

The news, which was announced during Renault’s 2020 launch event in Paris on Wednesday, has moved Zhou one step closer to becoming F1’s first-ever Chinese driver.

In his new role, Zhou will support team regulars Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon throughout 2020. 

 

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