Guanyu Zhou keeps the hope of Championship in Jeddah last weekend

Saudi Arabia

After three very complicated races, Guanyu Zhou gained seven points this weekend. Although the points gap between him and Oscar Piastri has been increased, there is still hope for him to compete for the championship.


After the Free Practice session on Friday, the Qualifying session started at 6.25pm local time.

Guanyu Zhou had been struggling down in ninth during the opening half of the session, but returned from the pits with fresh tyres and leapt up to third on the first run of the second set.

There was plenty of time for other flyers, though, and by the end of the session, the PREMA duo took the first row of Feature Race.

Eventually, Guanyu Zhou was just behind his UNI-Virtuosi teammate Drugovich and toke final spot in sixth, ahead of Ralph Boschung. He would start on fifth for reverse in Sprint Race 1, which took place at 3.30pm local time, Saturday.


Sprint Race 1

Lining up on track for the first time in two months, Lawson and Armstrong were at the front of the reverse grid and went wheel-to-wheel heading into a tight first turn.

After the start, Safety Car was required following a Turn 4 collision that ended Guilherme Samaia and Marino Sato's races. The Charouz Racing System driver had been tagged by Olli Caldwell, who was swiftly handed a 10s-time penalty for causing the collision.

The Safety Car headed back into the pits at the end of Lap 3, but there was further drama as Championship challenger Zhou found himself facing the wrong way and at the back of the field, which brought out a Virtual Safety Car. The UNI-Virtuosi racer had attempted a daring dive on Lundgaard at the first chicane, but the space wasn't there, and he was sent spinning, suffering damage to his front wing as a result.

Pourchaire was the next retirement, losing control at Turn 22 and thumping the wall, which brought out a second full Safety Car. The frustrated Frenchman clambered out of his ART as the field cooled off from a frenetic few laps.

Three laps remained when the Safety Car headed back in and Guanyu Zhou managed to close the gap between leading group. Finally, Guanyu Zhou improved three positions after the collision with Lundgaard and finished in seventeenth by overtaking Deledda, Pourchaire's mistake and Caldwell's 10s-time penalty.

DAMS' Marcus Armstrong clinched a long-awaited and well-deserved first Formula 2 victory in Sprint Race 1.


Sprint Race 2

Because of 5s-time penalty, Jehan Daruvala became reverse polesitter of Sprint Race 2, ahead of Bent Viscaal. Guanyu Zhou started in seventeenth due to the collision of Sprint Race 1 and he made an extraordinary start with surging to thirteenth.

Although Safety Car was deployed in the following race several times, Guanyu Zhou still improve his position gradually and crossed the line tenth finally. With Daruvala and Lundgaard's penalties applied, Zhou claimed the final points' place in eighth.


Feature Race

Track repairs initially postponed the race, but when it did eventually get underway, there was a nasty collision between Théo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi that brought out a Red Flag. The Frenchman appeared to stall when the lights went out and the Brazilian was unable to avoid him, running into the back of the stationary ART Grand Prix.

Pourchaire and Fittipaldi were both confirmed as conscious by the FIA and transferred to hospital.

Guanyu Zhou grabbed the chance in chaos with climbing to fourth from sixth during the start phase.

The pair's crash led to a lengthy stoppage, after which the race was shortened to 20 minutes plus one lap, with one mandatory pitstop and half points.

Four laps were completed when the field began to feed into the pits for a change of tyre, but Guilherme Samaia and Olli Caldwell collided and brought out a Safety Car. The pair both clambered out of their cars, but a Red Flag followed, and it was swiftly confirmed that the race would not be restarted.

Zhou kept his position to the end and gained six points, helping him still in the list of title contender.

However, after this race, PREMA have officially won the Teams' title with 375.5 points, ahead of Carlin on 235.5 and UNI-Virtuosi on 221.

The final round of the season will be followed at Yas Marina, which takes place in less than a week.


Source: F2 official website