Zhou Happy After Setbacks in Spa
Guanyu Zhou’s third place finish in the Sprint Race today capped off a mixed weekend for UNI-Virtuosi.
The Feature Race saw Zhou finish seventh, whilst team mate Callum Ilott suffered difficulties during the race and took home the final point in 10th. The Sprint Race continued to be a tail of two halves, with Zhou returning to the podium whilst Ilott was unlucky and caught in a first lap spin with Yuki Tsunoda.
Initially, it looked like Zhou was going to struggle after slipping down to fifth. Speaking about the start, Zhou said: “I don’t think the start was great. I had too much wheelspin off the line, which put us in a pretty bad position.
“The first few laps we had the incident and were behind the Safety Car. After the Safety Car we seemed to struggle a bit with the grip in general. That’s why Mick was able to make his way forward.”
After the DAMS of Dan Ticktum was damaged due to a collision with Roy Nissany for the lead on Lap 4, Zhou and Ticktum battled it out for the final podium place.
“I tried to pass Dan (Ticktum), we went side-by-side into the left kink before the Bus Stop, and he fully pushed me off onto the Astroturf and I had a big bump which was pretty dangerous. The lap after I managed to pull a move off that I knew was really necessary, especially to do it Sector 2. I knew I had time to get a good gap before the DRS.”
Regarding the differing fortunes for the driver this weekend, Zhou said: “Yesterday was a bit confusing with me and my engineer, with the pit stop where we didn’t really maximise everything, but today the speed seemed to be quite good in the second half of the race and we need to focus on the beginning where we were struggling a bit with the grip.”
However, despite this success, there seems to be some unanswered questions for UNI-Virtuosi after a relatively less successful qualifying compared to previous rounds.
“This weekend, as a team, we’ve been struggling in Qualifying where we’re used to that being our strongest point. There’s a lot of things to be considered when we have the data. The temperature and everything is quite cold here, and it will be a different story in Monza.”
Guanyu Zhou and UNI-Virtuosi will be looking for a return to their previous form for Round 8, with the team having secured four of the seven pole positions available so far. Additionally, Zhou will be looking to achieve his maiden F2 race win next time out at Monza.
Zhou currently lies sixth in the drivers’ championship on 92 points, just ahead of fellow Renault Academy driver Christian Lundgaard.