First 2017 Podium delight for Guan Yu Zhou in Hungary

Guan Yu Zhou took his first podium of 2017 in Hungary - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Guan Yu Zhou left the Hungaroring sitting fifth in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings after a first podium finish of the season and a strong overall display all weekend long.

The Prema Powerteam driver admitted his opening race was ‘boring’ after finding it impossible to attack, which meant he was forced to settle for seventh at the chequered flag.

“It was a bit of a boring race without much overtaking,” said Zhou. “After four laps, the rear was jumping a lot so I couldn’t really attack.

“I focused on controlling my pace and saving the tyres for the final stages as there was not much happening.”

Race two was much better, with the Chinese driver jumping ahead of Lando Norris into turn one, and he was able to keep Jake Hughes behind him until the chequered flag to secure his first podium finish since joining Prema.

“In race 2 I started well and jumped in front of Norris,” said Zhou. “In the first couple of laps I tried to attack Eriksson but it was too difficult to overtake.

“So I saved the rear tyres and controlled the pace, pushing mainly in the last sector so Hughes couldn’t overtake me on the straight.”

Unfortunately, despite standing on the podium again in race three, Zhou was handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage as he battled Norris in the closing stages of the race at the turn six chicane, but he was still able to take fourth place and another good haul of points, which will give him confidence going forward.

“In race 3 I got another good start and I was right behind Callum [Ilott],” said Zhou. “There were no real opportunities to go by so I stayed in P3.

“Then it was tough to keep Lando behind as he was really fast and aggressive but in the end it was good to score decent points.”