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Guanyu Zhou, UNI VIRTUOSI
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The F1 junior with a nation's hopes on his shoulders

Drawing a comparison between double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and rookie Formula 2 driver Guan Yu Zhou might seem bizarre at first, but the power of both to inspire a nation means they have more in common than you might think.

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On September 26 2004, Rubens Barrichello won the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver leading home BAR Honda's Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren and the Renault of Fernando Alonso.

A five-year-old Chinese boy watched on in awe, more desperate than most to become a racing driver. Just under 14 years on, that boy, Guan Yu Zhou, is oh-so-close to joining the list of names to make it as an Formula 1 driver, and is racing as a junior for the Renault team he watched Alonso lead that day.

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