China's Guanyu Zhou to make F1 practice debut with Alpine in Austria

Guanyu Zhou has driven in Formula 2 since 2019. Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou will make his Formula One practice debut with Alpine in Austria this weekend, the Renault-owned team said on Monday.

The Shanghai-born 22-year-old will take double world champion Fernando Alonso's car for the opening hour-long Friday session.

Zhou is the team's test driver and is currently leading the Formula Two championship.

He will be the first Chinese to take part in a Friday session since Ma Qing Hua featured in Chinese Grand Prix practice with now-defunct Caterham in 2013. No Chinese driver has ever raced in F1.

"There have not been many Chinese drivers in Formula One, so to be behind the wheel of an F1 car during a race weekend is going to be a very proud feeling," said Zhou.

"It's going to be even more special that I'm driving Fernando's car as he inspired me to pursue a career in racing when I was young."