Renault adds second Chinese driver to F1 junior ranks
Renault has added a second Chinese driver to its Formula 1 junior programme, with Ye Yifei joining Guan Yu Zhou in the roster.
The 18-year-old racer will be making his debut in the new-look FIA Formula 3 Championship this year, having signed with Hitech GP.
“We have been watching Ye Yifei for some time. He has impressed us with his results in all categories, plus his ability to integrate into any racing or cultural environment,” said Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
“For us, his future is promising and we are looking forward to guiding the next stages of his career as he continues his progress through the ranks.”
Ye is the 2016 French F4 champion, having dominated the category in his sophomore season with 14 wins in 23 races.
He moved up to two-litre Formula Renault the following year, winning a pair of NEC series races in his first season before finishing third overall in the Eurocup in 2018 – behind Max Fewtrell and Christian Lundgaard, who are likewise part of Renault's junior programme.
“It’s a real honour to join the Renault Sport Academy,” Ye said. “Over the years I have seen its members go on to achieve great things in racing.
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“It gives incredible support in all areas; physical training, working with world-class engineers, media experience and career guidance.
“Of course I also know the importance and privilege of working with a global brand such as Renault and I am looking forward to honouring their reputation with some strong results this year and in the future.
“I will be working hard to reach Formula 1 with Renault F1 Team one day.”
Renault's Academy programme now comprises seven names, with Ye and fellow F3 newcomers Fewtrell and Lundgaard joined by Formula 2 racers Zhou and Anthoine Hubert, as well as Formula Renault Eurocup drivers Victor Martins and Caio Collet.
Ye Yifei, Hitech Grand Prix
Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / LAT Images
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