UNI-Virtuosi finished the 2021 FIA Formula 2 season as vice-champions with a win and three further podium finishes at the final round in Abu Dhabi.
In his final F2 weekend, after three years racing with UNI-Virtuosi, Guanyu Zhou qualified in third place for his last Feature Race. The Chinese driver only missed out on pole by just under three tenths, putting himself in contention for a trophy over the weekend.
During qualifying, Felipe Drugovich also made it into the top ten, finishing eighth, putting him on the second row for the first Sprint Race.
The Brazilian had a great start managing to get up to second with a quick lunge at the beginning of the race. Drugovich then spent the next 23 laps fighting for the lead but could not pass Jehan Daruvala.
Meanwhile, Zhou spent the race taking care of his tyres, finishing in eighth, where he started the race.
In the penultimate race of the season and his F2 career, the future F1 driver took his fourth win of the season, to make it five series wins overalll.
Zhou avoided all the drama during the second Sprint Race, where he sped away from third while people were crashing behind him.
He pulled off a good overtake to get into second and started pushing trying towards the race leader, Marcus Armstrong, but there would never be a fight for the lead.
After a safety car restart, Armstrong slowed to a stop, letting Zhou get past. Once ahead, he never looked back, finishing ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Ralph Boschung.
Zhou and Drugovich opted for different strategies in the Feature Race as they lined up for the last time as team mates.
Zhou hung onto the back of rookie Jack Doohan, from third, pressuring around the opening three corners.
Doohan put in a strong performance but made a mistake that gave Zhou the chance to get into second which he didn’t hesitate to take.
While Zhou stopped for mediums on lap 10, Drugovich stayed out on the alternate strategy. However, the Brazilian couldn’t build enough of a gap to gain anything from the long stint and, after pitting, came back out in fourth.
Lapping two seconds a lap quicker than Robert Shwartzman in third, Drugovich eased past the PREMA and into third, right behind Zhou.
UNI-Virtuosi posted on Twitter: Double Podium. What a way to end the season
DOUBLE PODIUM ??
What a way to end the season… ?
?: @DutchPhotoAg #F2 #AbuDhabiGP pic.twitter.com/hHHvehIg2f
— UNI-Virtuosi Racing (@VirtuosiRacing) December 12, 2021
The second and third place Feature Race finish gave UNI-Virtuosi enough points to claim second in the Teams’ Championship, finishing the season as vice-champions for a third season in a row.
While Zhou’s tenth podium of the year made sure he secured P3 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd