Going into the second round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Guanyu Zhou, driving for Uni-Virtuosi as part of the Alpine Academy, heads the championship by 11 points to F2 rookie, Liam Lawson, following a brilliant weekend in Bahrain last time out. We are back in Monaco this weekend after its absence last year and Zhou starts on pole. His teammate, Felipe Drugovich, will start alongside as the 22 cars prepare for lights out.
Written by Olly Radley, Edited by Aiden Hover
The race got underway with Guanyu Zhou getting off the line brilliantly ahead of Drugovich – who was overtaken into Saint-Devote by Christian Lundgaard. Further back in the pack, multiple winner Robert Shwartzman hit the wall at Massenet which critically damaged his front wing. The Russian pitted that lap but only stayed in the race until his eventual retirement on Lap 4.
The race was fairly uneventful as Zhou slowly extended his lead up to 2 seconds by Lap 10. We finally got some action as the ART of Christian Lundgaard began smoking on lap 13. It was only light at first but it got considerably worse as time went on. It eventually got to the point where 7th placed Dan Ticktum began calling for the black and orange flag for the Dane. Lundgaard finally pulled into a run-off area on Lap 15 to retire from the race. This would mean he was to start in P21 for the race the next day.
With 10 laps to go Guanyu Zhou was comfortably 7 seconds ahead of Drugovich who’d inherited P2 after Lundgaard’s early withdrawal. On lap 25/30, Gianluca Petecof, 2020 Formula Regional Eurocup champion, hopped and skipped over the curbs at the Swimming Pool chicane before shunting into the wall at the exit. The Brazilian instantly retired, which initially brought out a VSC, before stewards decided a full safety car was in order.
Lap 28 saw Zhou nail the safety car restart, bridging a 2-second gap by the midway point of that lap. We didn’t see much movement across the pack during the restart but the lap afterward, Trident driver Marino Sato, crashed at Saint-Devote, prematurely ending his race – though he would still be classified as he completed 90% of the race.
Finally, after a lights to flag lead, Guanyu Zhou took victory in Monaco – adding 15 points onto his championship lead to extend it to 26. Felipe Drugovich held onto 2nd place ahead of Roy Nissany who landed a maiden podium in F2. One of the most experienced drivers on the grid, Ralph Boschung scored a career-best result of 4th for Campos, as Red Bull youngster, Juri Vips, claimed 5th and the fastest lap of the race. Crucially in the battle for 10th, Marcus Armstrong sent it up the inside of Jehan Daruvala at the penultimate corner of the race, Rascasse. Not only did he get 10th but also reverse grid pole for the next sprint race tomorrow.
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