Kuan-yu Chou Prepares for Historic Home Grand Prix

Kuan-yu Chou Prepares for Historic Home Grand Prix

Kuan-yu Chou is waiting for the first domestic grand prix of his career this weekend.

Although Kuan-yu Chou is no longer a newcomer to F1, now in his third season with almost 50 races under his belt, he will have one big premiere this coming weekend.

For the first time ever, the first Chinese in the queen of motorsport will take part in the home grand prix at the Shanghai circuit, which has been absent from the F1 calendar since 2019 due to coronavirus measures.

On that occasion, the Kick Sauber pilot recalled his beginnings in motorsport, when he left his native China at the age of 12 to try to break through as a car racer in Europe.

Chou found himself in a completely different environment and had to get used to a new beginning in Sheffield, which is located in the north of England. And although the city of half a million people from the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire cannot be considered completely small from a European point of view, it was still a big change from Chou’s point of view.

“It was a bit of a shock coming from a big city like Shanghai. Plus Sheffield is all the way up north and there is no summer. Still, my mechanics always dressed in shorts. This is already a British thing, which was also manifested in the teams in F3 and F2… whatever the weather, shorts and T-shirts are worn,” said Chou in an interview with the British magazine GP Racing.

“I had a good life in Yorkshire, I could focus purely on racing and going to school, learning the language. I also found good friends there. I moved there with my mom, I was little so I couldn’t live there alone. She took care of everything. The support was important because for the first few months when I went to school I didn’t know what everyone was talking about because of the language problem. It was difficult,” recalled the Chinese competitor.

“However, compared to Shanghai or even London, everyone is super laid-back in Yorkshire. The pace of life is less rushed. At school, the teachers were really relaxed and helped me improve in every subject. I have great memories of it,” said Chou, who still lives in England today.

During his karting career, Chou collected a number of successes in Europe, thanks to which he was able to move closer to his dream of becoming an F1 driver, which he achieved in 2022.

But everything was not right away, as he points out.

“Before I came to the UK I literally won every Chinese championship. As a kid I stood on the top step of the podium every weekend… And then I came to Great Britain and finished outside the top ten. These are heartbreaking times for a child, aren’t they? But I realized that I have to gradually improve to be competitive against the best. A year later I managed to reach a lot of podiums and start winning. Back then I was competing with Land (Norris), for example,” said Chou, who was also motivated by the fact that Lewis Hamilton’s name, as the former holder of the given primacy, was also written on some of the trophies he won.

“The important year was 2013 when I won the British and European Karting Championships. This convinced me that I could achieve my dream,” Chou added.

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