‘Ey up’: F1 star Zhou Guanyu makes emotional stop off at his Sheffield school

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The Formula 1 star spent three years studying in Sheffield after moving from Shanghai to pursue his racing career.

Formula 1 star Zhou Guanyu said 'ey up' to Sheffield once again as he stopped off at his former school to spend time with pupils and teachers.

The 23-year-old is the first Chinese driver to ever race in Formula 1 and signed for a second season with Alfa Romero in 2023.

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Zhou was born in Shanghai and races under the Chinese flag, but calls Yorkshire his second home having spent three years of his younger years in Sheffield.

The driver moved to the UK to pursue his driving dreams and began at Westbourne School at the age of 12 years old in 2011, where he studied until 2014.

The star has spoken about the change in countries as a 'big change' and admitted that Sheffield felt small at first compared with the sprawling Shanghai.

Zhou races for Alfa Romeo (Image: Getty Images)Zhou races for Alfa Romeo (Image: Getty Images)
Zhou races for Alfa Romeo (Image: Getty Images)

He told Formula 2: "In the schools, there were no other Chinese people there, I was the only one and they couldn't speak my language, so I had to force myself to learn it quickly."

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Zhou began to excel on the karting circuit with local team Strawberry Racing and his journey led him to the F1 stardom he experiences today.

Taking time away from racing, the sportsman shared a video of himself addressing students, signing autographs and strolling around the school on Instagram. He also posed for a photo at the school gate, where he entered countless times over those teenage years.

He captioned the post: “‘Ey up’ Sheffield! A place with full of memories.”

Previously, former headmaster John Hicks remembered Zhou as a pupil at Westbourne. He told the Yorkshire Post: “He was pretty quiet when he first arrived as his English was limited, so he found it difficult to express himself.

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“But he would go away and learn the language and practice it. He would practice on me, he would catch me in the yard and he was very willing and positive and confident in picking up the language. It was that kind of spirit that allowed him to forge good relationships with other people.

“Everybody saw him as a hard-working, conscientious and nice guy. He didn’t understand much at the beginning but he made great progress.”

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