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Zhou wins the F2 feature race at Silverstone

by Sam Williams

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Guanyu Zhou won the feature race of round four of the Formula 2 season at Silverstone.

After going pointless in the last four races and losing the points lead, the Virtuosi Racing driver bounced back with his third win of 2021.

He was joined on the podium by Carlin’s Dan Ticktum and Prema’s Oscar Piastri, who had started from pole.

Zhou started alongside Piastri on the front row, and when the lights went out he had a flying start that immediately put him ahead of his fellow Alpine Academy member Piastri. At the same time, Ticktum took third from race two winner Richard Verschoor.

The order at the front remainded steady until the mandatory pitstops started taking place.

Ticktum passed Piastri by undercutting the Australian by one lap, while the third of Alpine’s juniors – Christian Lundgaard – lost a wheel after a poor pitstop. The ART Grand Prix driver had made his way to seventh, but dropped to last and with a penalty.

The pitstop drama wouldn’t stop there, with Charouz’s David Beckman getting a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.

Verschoor’s MP Motorsport team-mate Lirim Zendeli and Hitech GP’s Juri Vips temporally took the lead by running long with their first stint, and after they pitted with five laps to go Zhou slotted back into first place, followed by Ticktum and Piastri.

It was a quiet race thereon, but Zhou would be untouchable as he took victory by almost four seconds.

After a tense battle at the dying moments, Piastri held on to third ahead of Verschoor. The two drivers nearly collided on the penultimate lap, which no investigation was deemed neccessary for. They were followed by Piastri’s team-mate Robert Shwartzman, Virtuosi’s Drugovich and Vips.

After a difficult weekend, Williams junior Roy Nissany dropped down the field and finished 16th, while ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire started and finished eighth ahead of Zendeli and Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala.

Race results (29 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi 51m07.552s
2 Dan Ticktum Carlin +3.828s
3 Oscar Piastri Prema +19.342s
4 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +20.128s
5 Robert Shwartzman Prema +24.775s
6 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi +25.469s
7 Juri Vips Hitech GP +25.836s
8 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +26.651s
9 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport +27.421s
10 Jehan Daruvala Carlin +27.677s
11 Liam Lawson Hitech GP +39.951s
12 Marcus Armstrong DAMS +40.516s
13 Bent Viscaal Trident +44.372s
14 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +47.641s
15 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System +47.812s
16 Roy Nissany DAMS +49.492s
17 Jack Aitken HWA Racelab +51.977s
18 Matteo Nannini Campos Racing +52.326s
19 Marino Sato Trident +53.708s
20 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System +1m02.605s
21 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +1m30.203s
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab +1 lap
Fastest lap: Daruvala, 1m42.767s

Championship standings

1 Piastri 108   2 Zhou 103   3 Shwartzman 91   4 Ticktum 89   5 Vips 85   6 Pourchaire 65   7 Drugovich 59   8 Lawson 58   9 Daruvala 56   10 Verschoor 50