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guanyu zhou f1 fans

Formula E would be delighted to receive a phone call from Zhou

guanyu zhou f1 fans

Formula E would love to have Zhou Guanyu in the all-electric championship if the Chinese driver loses his seat in Formula 1 at the end of the season, according to chief executive Jeff Dodds.

The CEO told Reuters that China was a key element of Formula E’s growth strategy and having a Chinese driver was a dream scenario that could have “an explosive effect”.

“Three markets we are absolutely trying to break into on a bigger scale would be North America, China and India,” said Dodds. “In China alone we have over 100 million fans, which is absolutely crazy for a 10-year-old business.

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“Because they are leading the EV revolution out of that market and we are an EV motor racing series, I would love nothing more than to have a strong Chinese driver come through into a team.

“I think the combination of EV, growth market, strong fan base already, back in China racing in Shanghai with Chinese driver, I think would bring even more interest, excitement and growth to the championship,” he claimed.

Zhou, the first Chinese F1 driver, made his debut with Sauber in 2022 but the 25-year-old faces an uncertain future with the Swiss-based team set to become the Audi factory outfit in 2026.

Sauber have already announced German driver Nico Hulkenberg for one of their two seats and are waiting on Carlos Sainz, who will be replaced at Ferrari by seven-time F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton at the end of the season.

Zhou not the only Chinese prospect

The Swiss-based team also have Valtteri Bottas in their lineup, with the experienced race-winner also talking to other teams.

“Without being controversial, he’ll have a challenge of retaining a position in Formula 1,” said Dodds of Zhou. “My phone is always on and I’d be delighted to receive that phone call.

“But there will be other Chinese racing prospects coming through so it’s not a one driver opportunity. I think there could be a number of drivers,” he pointed out.

Indian Jehan Daruvala is a Formula E rookie this season with Maserati. Formula E has no North American driver but last weekend gave Canadian Robert Wickens, paralysed from the waist down since a 2018 IndyCar crash, a test in an adapted car.

Dodds said Wickens, 35, could also boost his series, adding: “Other than it being a brilliant showcase around our ability to adapt cars to be more inclusive as a racing series, I think Robert or someone like Robert racing would be brilliant for the North American market.

Dodds was speaking as Formula E announced on Wednesday the appointment of former F1 marketing head Ellie Norman as chief marketing officer after a stint with Manchester United.

The series is majority owned by Liberty Global after the telecoms company last month bought the shares of Warner Bros Discovery.

Dodds said Formula E had nearly 400 million fans globally and wanted to “dial up the noise” to reach more than 500 million by 2030 and narrow the gap to F1. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)