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The F1 junior with a nation's hopes on his shoulders
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The F1 junior with a nation's hopes on his shoulders

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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.

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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