Zhou Critical of Norris after First Lap Clash at Spa

Guan Yu Zhou was forced to retire from race two in Belgium after a clash with Lando Norris - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Guan Yu Zhou admitted to being disappointed to be crashed out of the second race at Spa-Francorchamps, with Lando Norris the offender, with the Chinese driver running second when the incident happened at the end of the Kemmel Straight.

With Spa offering its usual slipstreaming benefits to those following the leader, the first lap in all races was feisty, and Prema Powerteam driver Zhou was amongst the leading pack when approaching Les Combes, only for him to be hit by Norris, who earned himself a grid penalty for race three as a result.

“In race 1 we went for a different kind of set-up compared to my team-mates but in the end it didn’t work out,” said Zhou. “I was also one of the few drivers on old tyres so the grip was not good and I kept sliding.

“In race 2 I made a great start and after the Eau Rouge I was fighting for second place. I was in front of Norris before braking. Turning in I left space for more than one car but I still got hit and spun around. The floor was damaged so I had to pit and retire.”

Zhou recovered from his race two retirement to lead early on in race three, but found himself struggling with tyre degradation to fall to fourth before fighting back to secure a podium finish late in the day after passing team-mate Callum Ilott.

“After yesterday being taken out early I started well and was one on the fastest cars,” said Zhou. “I was in the lead but then the safety car bunched us up and then I got passed easily with the slipstream.

“Unfortunately we then suffered from rear degradation. At the last lap I fought back to take third place and I am very happy with the result.”