Guanyu Zhou converts pole into victory in a very hectic Feature Race in Bahrain


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Guanyu Zhou was able to convert his pole position into a Feature race victory, the first time that has happened for UNI-Virtuosi. Dan Ticktum picked up second place with Liam Lawson rounding off the podium in third.

Richard Verschoor’s narrowly missed out on a podium as he finished in fourth ahead of New Zealander Marcus Armstrong in fifth and Jehan Daruvala in sixth.

Robert Shwartzman made his way from the back of the grid up to seventh ahead of Theo Pourchaire in eighth, Felipe Drugovich in ninth and Matteo Nannini rounding off the top 10.

David Beckmann finished 11th ahead of Christian Lundgaard in 12th after his time penalty was applied. Juri Vips was up in 13th with Marino Sato in 14th, Ralph Boschung in 15th, Guilherme Samaia in 16th, Bent Viscaal in 17th and Lirim Zendeli the final driver who finished the race in 18th.

Oscar Piastri, Gianluca Petecof, Alessio Deledda and Roy Nissany all retired from the race with the most noticeably one being the Prema of Piastri who collided with Ticktum when the two battled for second place late on in the race.

Starting Grid

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Guanyu Zhou lined up in first alongside Christian Lundgaard in second and UNI-Virtuosi teammate Felipe Drugovich in third.

Dan Ticktum was next to the Brazillian driver in fourth with Richard Verschoor’s in fifth. Ticktum’s teammate Jehan Daruvala started sixth, last season’s Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri in seventh, Liam Lawson in eighth with David Beckmann and Theo Pourchaire rounding off the top 10..

Looking further down the grid, Robert Shwartzman was in P11 after losing power and bringing out the red flag with five minutes to go in qualifying with Ralph Boschun alongside him in 12th.

Marcus Armstrong in P13, Roy Nissany in P14, Bent Viscaal in P15, Lirim Zendeli in P16, Guilherme Samaia in P17, Marino Sato in P18, Matteo Nannini in P19, Gianluca Petecof in P20 with Alessio Deledda and Juri Vips at the back of the grid in P21 and P22 respectively.

As It Happened

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Lundgaard took the lead of the race as the driver headed into turn one. Zhou slipped down even further as his teammate Drugovich overtook him which dropped the Chinese driver from first to third.

The Safety Car was deployed after only four corners of racing. Nissany retired from the race after he was punted off the track by Shwartzman as Deledda was another driver out of the race.

At the restart, the UNI-Virtuosi of Drugovich took the lead of the race down into turn one, but Lundgaard did not give it up as he overtook the Brazillian and sailed into the lead once more.

Piastri made a bold move on Zhou as the two Alpine Academy driver went toe-to-toe as the rookie took the upper hand in that battle moving ahead of the UNI-Virtuosi.

The other Pream of Shwartzman received a drive-through penalty for the incident with Nissany which the Russian served immediately and in doing so he dropped all the way to the back of the grid.

In the battle for second, Piastri made his way past the second UNI-Virtuosi and dived down the inside of Drugovich to take the position.

Ticktum and Pourchaire were on the move as the duo moved ahead of Verschoor as the Dutchman struggled with his tyres.

Not long after, Piastri was in the lead of the race after he made his way ahead of Lundgaard and into first but still needed to pit for a fresh set of tyres.

Lundgaard did not wait around and decided to pit before anybody else did and came out in 13th as Shwartzman overtook the ART who tried to get temperature into his tyres down at turn two.

Then a whole gaggle of driver followed the Dane into getting new tyres. Piastri was the luckiest of them all as the Aussie came out of the pits just as the Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Petecof retired.

The VSC turned into a full Safety Car as Armstrong made his way to the pits and retained first as the previous leaders made their way round to catch up the Safety Car and the DAMS in the process.

After another restart, Piastri and Verschoor’s sailed past the New Zealander as the rookies jumped to first and second in the race.

A lap later, the lead was taken by Verschoor’s. Using his tyres well, the Dutchman dived down the inside of the Prema driver and unexpectedly lead the race.

Drugovich, Lundgaard and Sato were given a five-second time penalty for a Safety Car infringement with Viscaal getting punished even further as he was awarded a ten-second penalty.

Zhou made his way back up to the front as the Chinese driver overtook Piastri and Verschoor in a matter of a few laps. Ticktum made the move on Lawson which promoted the Carlin driver to fourth.

Piastri and Ticktum battled for third with only three laps to go. The pair collided at turn two which sent the Prema spinning and subsequently retired from the race.

Ticktum was able to pick up second as a lock-up from Verschoor enabled the Carlin to get through with Lawson also making his way past to take the final podium position.

What’s Next?

The action stops for the FIA Formula 2 with the next race at Monaco at the back end of May. In the meantime, the drivers will have the chance to get back up to speed at the end of April as they test their cars once more in Barcelona.

Guanyu Zhou has the current lead of the Championship with the Chinese driver on 41 points after the opening three races of the season.

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