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Shanghai International Circuit returns to Formula One after pandemic pivot

Posted : 16 April 2024

Two years ago, amidst the peak of the city's lockdown, the Shanghai International Circuit underwent a transformative shift, serving as the site for a makeshift 13,000-bed Covid hospital. This weekend, however, marks a stark contrast as the circuit gears up to host Formula One once again, marking the sport's return to China for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.


Amidst the anticipation and fervour of fans, the spotlight shines particularly bright on Shanghai native Zhou Guanyu, who is set to make his Formula One debut at his home track. For fans like Wang Xiaotian, Zhou's presence symbolizes a momentous occasion, encapsulating the pride and excitement of witnessing a local talent take to the international stage.


The absence of Formula One from Shanghai since 2019, coupled with the disruptive impact of Covid and China's stringent travel measures, underscore the significance of its return. Despite the challenges, tickets for the action-packed weekend were snapped up within minutes of release in January, signaling the eagerness of fans to once again experience the thrill of live motorsport.


For Zhou Guanyu, whose journey to this moment has been marked by perseverance and dedication, the homecoming holds special significance. Although his prospects of clinching the podium may be slim, Zhou is determined to make his mark and ignite a new era for Chinese motorsport. His sentiments resonate deeply with fans like Hu Yanqin, who express immense pride in witnessing Zhou's ascent as China's first Formula One driver.


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