Spectacular podium comeback for Zhou, Ilott bags strong rebound
UNI-Virtuosi Racing driver Guanyu Zhou delivered a phenomenal drive through the field to take second in the first FIA Formula 2 race of the weekend at Silverstone in the team’s home event.
Zhou - who holds the Silverstone lap record in FIA F2 - started eighth after a tricky qualifying where traffic was prevalent.
But once in race conditions the Renault Formula 1 test and development driver came to the fore. He ran an incredibly long first stint, pitting inside the last 10 laps, and when he emerged he began his attack.
No corner on the track was safe from Zhou’s overtaking exploits, and he swept through to take second, which in turn will mean a seventh-place start in tomorrow’s reversed-grid race. More importantly, the result also puts Zhou into the top five in the championship standings.
Zhou’s team-mate Callum Ilott entered the race second in the championship standings and was due to start the race in second.
However, a stall on the formation lap meant he had to go right to the back of the field.
It made for a difficult race for Ilott, but the young Brit overcame the adversity with excellent tyre management and a patient strategy - with a rapid pitstop by the team - and he moved up to fifth in the closing laps.
The Ferrari junior’s recovery came amid a poor race for his closest title rival, and it means Ilott is now second in the points' standings after overcoming what could have been a race-ruining stall.
Ilott will start tomorrow’s race from fourth on the grid, with another good chance to bag more points as his title rival starts 14th.
With today's result, UNI-Virtuosi Racing moves to the top of the FIA F2 teams' championship standings.
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