Zhou keeps Bahrain F2 pole but receives reprimand

Guanyu Zhou will keep his FIA Formula 2 Championship Bahrain pole position but has been handed a reprimand following the outcome of an FIA investigation.

Zhou keeps Bahrain F2 pole but receives reprimand

The UNI Virtuosi driver triggered a post-qualifying investigation, initially listed for taking the chequered flag twice, after going to the Formula 1 pit lane instead of the support pit lane after the session.

Following the conclusion of the investigation Autosport understands the Chinese racer will keep the pole position and the four championship points that come with it.

The FIA has however issued Zhou a reprimand for breaching Article 12.2.1 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

As a result, Zhou will start Sunday’s feature race from pole but will begin tomorrow’s opening race from 10th, courtesy of the championship’s new-for-2021 top 10 reverse grid qualifying format that will see David Beckmann on pole.

PLUS: Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

“I actually did not take the chequered flag twice but basically I didn’t go into the support pit lane after the chequered flag, I went to the F1 pit lane instead so I’m sure I didn’t take it twice,” Zhou said when asked about the FIA investigation in the post-qualifying press conference.

Reflecting on his performance in what was a dramatic qualifying, the Alpine Academy driver described his 1:42.848s effort that pipped Christian Lundgaard by 0.003s as one of his best ever qualifying laps.

“It was one of the greatest laps I have done in qualifying in F2,” he said.

“It was going quite well, especially as we had a quite a different strategy to the others so it put a lot of pressure on my side to get that first lap done and we managed to maximise that lap.

Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing

Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing

Photo by: Motorsport Images

“It was quite a nervous, tricky lap for me and it was quite on the edge, but was really happy to get the first pole of the year.”

Despite admitting to being ‘hurt’ to be beaten by his Alpine Academy rival, Lundgaard declared himself happy with his qualifying performance.

“I’m happy to be sitting here but it hurts to be beaten by three thousandths by my [Alpine} Academy mate,” said Lundgaard.

“But otherwise I’m happy, I wasn’t expecting this after practice.” 

Zhou and Lundgaard are refusing to rule out the prospect of making a pit stop in either of tomorrow's pair of sprint races, given the tyre degradation sustained from the abrasive track surface.

“Tomorrow is going to be very warm; it is going to be tricky as we need to keep a soft set for Sunday’s race,” explained Lundgaard.

“I think race one and race two there can be a pit stop, I can’t really say which one it will be if any.

“It all depends on safety cars, virtual safety cars and how the race pans out.” 

Zhou added: “If there is a pit stop, it will be either race one or race two but it all depends on tyre deg, speed through the race and how the safety car plays out.”

The opening 45-minute race of the 2021 F2 season is due to begin on Saturday morning at 1025 GMT.

shares
comments
F2 format tweaks won't change drivers' weekend approach
Previous article

F2 format tweaks won't change drivers' weekend approach

Next article

Pourchaire inherits F2 pole after Vips disqualification

Pourchaire inherits F2 pole after Vips disqualification
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022
Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart Plus

Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart

DAMS has been one of the most prolific teams below Formula 1 since its foundation in 1989, launching 32 drivers into grand prix racing. Following the team's sale to ex-F1 racer Charles Pic, formally closing the book on the ownership of the Driot family, Autosport picks out its 10 best drivers during their spell with the team

FIA F2
Feb 27, 2022
How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1 Plus

How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1

After a disappointing 2021, Marcus Armstrong is returning to FIA Formula 2 for another shot at the title in 2022 with Hitech – this time without the backing of Ferrari. This year, he says, he’s ready to give it his all in a last-shot bid to reach Formula 1

FIA F2
Feb 19, 2022
The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream Plus

The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream

Faced with no options for 2021, Logan Sargeant’s Formula 1 dreams looked set to crumble. But a last-minute Formula 3 seat and a strong season secured him an F1 junior berth and a Formula 2 drive for 2022. He told Autosport how his transformative season has affected both his personality and his future

FIA F2
Jan 29, 2022
Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021