Renault tester Guan Yu Zhou has had his first outing in a contemporary Formula 1 car at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Zhou joined Renault’s Driver Academy for 2019, following several years under Ferrari’s guidance, and also took up a role as the manufacturer’s Development Driver.
Zhou had previously carried out running in Renault’s 2012-spec machinery and on Wednesday got behind the wheel of the marque’s 2017 car in Spain.
He is only one of a handful of Chinese drivers to have sampled Formula 1 machinery, with the market regarded as an important arena for Renault.
So far China’s only representative in Formula 1 has been Ma Qing Hua, who participated in five FP1s for HRT and Caterham in 2012/13, before moving into touring cars.
20-year-old Zhou moved up to Formula 2 for 2019 on a two-year deal with UNI-Virtuosi, the team which previously ran under the Russian Time banner.
Zhou holds sixth in the championship, as top rookie, and has taken four podiums along with a pole position at Silverstone last month.
Zhou’s presence in the series means China is being lined up for a potential place on the 2020 Formula 2 calendar, with the championship having never before visited the country.
Renault also has Sergey Sirotkin and Jack Aitken affiliated with its team through test and reserve roles.