With both UNI-Virtuosi drivers Guanyu Zhou and Felipe Drugovich locking out the front row at Monaco, an eventful Sprint Race 1 saw Zhou lead from lights-out to the chequered flag to secure victory in the streets of Monte Carlo.
Thursday’s qualifying session saw Drugovich finish in ninth place and Zhou qualify tenth, which will set the order for Saturday’s Feature Race. The newly-revised Formula 2 qualifying format meant Zhou took reverse-pole position and Drugovich P2 for the first sprint race of the weekend.
The Brazilian racer dropped to P3 in the opening moments of lap 1, however, Drugovich remained a significant threat in the battle for the lead and later regained his position when a suspected oil leak saw Zhou’s fellow Alpine Academy driver, Christian Lundgaard, retire after lap 15.
A late safety car wiped out the eight-second lead Zhou had built up over the field, but a perfectly executed race restart allowed him to quickly rebuild a gap.
With his only pressures throughout the race stemming from lapping HWA driver, Alessio Deledda, Guanyu Zhou took a comfortable win with his teammate Felipe Drugovich scoring his first podium with UNI-Virtuosi on his first appearance at the iconic street circuit.
"I’m super happy to take the win and see Felipe on the podium as well, it’s great to see all the hard work of the team paying off.”
“It was intense, obviously it's Monaco so you can't rest your mind for a millisecond, you always have to be concentrating… I was really happy to get a gap straight away and come home with the victory in Monaco - it's something quite special!"
"It's pretty special, especially being my first time here as well. I'm really happy with this, obviously. I think we had a little more yesterday to show, but this podium compensates for that. It was a difficult race for me, on the edge all the time and getting to know the streets every lap but I'm really happy with today and now I have two more races to score points."