UNI-Virtuosi celebrate a successful home race weekend at Silverstone
UNI-Virtuosi enjoyed yet another successful home race weekend as the FIA Formula 2 Championship returned to Silverstone for the fourth round of the 2021 season. The British team left the iconic British circuit with a Feature Race win - their third victory and fifth podium at the circuit in just three years.
The team kick-started the uncharacteristically sunny British weekend with a solid qualifying session, which ensured that both cars would start in the top ten for Saturday’s Sprint Race 1 and Sunday’s Feature Race.
Having qualified second, Guanyu Zhou lined up ninth for the first race of the weekend, and as the lights went out, he was quick to make up places on the entry into turn one. However, an unfortunate spin caused Zhou to retire from the race, leaving Felipe Drugovich as the lone UNI-Virtuosi driver on track.
Drugovich found the pace to move up to fourth, holding his nerve and the racing line as he defended right up until the chequered flag to claim a handful of points.
With the track temperature having increased since the morning race, Zhou lined up at the back of Sprint Race 2’s grid and Drugovich slotted into the seventh spot, following the reverse-grid format. A commendable drive saw Drugovich claim another points finish, holding his position and finishing the race seventh. Despite starting from P22, Zhou drove excellently and fought his way through the field to finish the race in eleventh place.
The Feature Race on Sunday was a thrilling spectacle, as Silverstone welcomed over 120,000 fans. Starting from the front row, Zhou dominated from lights out, taking the lead from fellow Alpine Academy member, Oscar Piastri, into turn one. Drugovich also enjoyed a superb start and gained positions in the first stint of the race.
Battling through the 29 laps, Zhou achieved “redemption” from Saturday’s races and found the pace to extend his lead over the rest of the field by four seconds, comfortably crossing the line first to gain 25 points and take his third win in just four rounds - the most wins of any F2 driver this year. Drugovich maintained track position to finish UNI-Virtuosi’s final home race in a respectable sixth place.
After the fourth round of the season, Guanyu Zhou sits in second place in the drivers’ championship with 103 points, just five points behind the current leader, whilst three top-ten finishes at Silverstone see Felipe Drugovich rise to seventh in the standings.
Round 5 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship will be held at Monza, Italy from 10-12 September.
"This Feature Race is redemption for what happened in the first Sprint Race. We made progress and got places back. Today was a perfect race - the team provided me with a great car so I’m super happy. It was quite a comfortable race for me out in front, so I’m now looking forward to the next race.”
"P4, P7 and P6 were the results this weekend! We did improve a lot for today's [Feature] race, but got stuck behind trying to overtake other cars... Just got to keep working and improving as it goes"