Zhou on pole as UNI-Virtuosi set the bar in season opener
UNI-Virtuosi started the year in style, securing pole position and P3 in the first Qualifying session of the 2021 FIA Formula 2 season at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.
Guanyu Zhou went fastest thanks to a phenomenal final qualifying lap, which saw him snatch the first pole position and first points of the season for a second consecutive year.
The time to beat with minutes to go was 1:42.851s, but Guanyu Zhou found 0.003s to pip his Alpine Academy rival, ART Grand Prix driver Christian Lundgaard, by the finest of margins.
Zhou’s new teammate for 2021 Felipe Drugovich, topped the timesheets in Free Practice and remained in form in Qualifying, leading the pack for the majority of the session, before finishing in third.
The new weekend format means that Drugovich and Zhou start Saturday’s Sprint Race 1 from P8 and P10, respectively. They will then start on the second row and from the best seat in the house for Sunday’s 32-lap Feature Race.
Today’s results prove UNI-Virtuosi are, once again, the ones to watch in Formula 2.
GUANYU ZHOU "Pole position! Really satisfied with all the work the team has been doing. We've come back really strong after a little bit of struggling in practice, and it was a pretty good session with a different strategy, a lot of pressure on my side to really do a good lap in each tyre, but we got the job done. We have a long weekend ahead with the three races so it will be interesting and hopefully I can do the best I can”
"Very good result for me, P3. Coming up from Free Practice, I was P1 there and P3 in Qualifying so I have to be happy with the day. For the new race format, we have to see how it's going to be tomorrow, and, of course, we're going to use that to prepare for the Sunday race. Hopefully we can get some good overtakes tomorrow and recover a lot of places."
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