Chinese FIA Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou believes that if he continues his consistency in the series during his rookie season, his first win will come.
Silverstone was the closest Zhou got to achieving his first win the series, having claimed pole position for the Feature race. But the Renault Academy driver lost the lead of the race to UNI-Virtuosi Racing team-mate Luca Ghiotto at the start of the race, and a slow pit stop allowed DAMS‘ Nicholas Latifi to take second place. Zhou ended the race in third to collect his fourth podium of the season.
Zhou has come close on a few occasions to winning a race in the series. In Barcelona, Zhou took the lead of the race and led for majority of it before he was passed by Latifi and Jack Aitken with a handful of laps to go.
In reflection of his performance from Silverstone, Zhou told The Checkered Flag about what he can take away from the round that he can use in a bid to claim his first win in Formula 2.
“There’s a few,” said Zhou. “I mean first corner was close and of course then we did the job in Qualifying. In the race, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know until you actually do it so you have lots of situations.
“For example: pit stops, the starts, I didn’t do the job at the start and outside of the pit stop as well.
“I think the most important thing is that we always been consistent or always been up there in Qualifying sessions and starting in front. Basically with all these experienced guys around me it’s never easy but I’m just happy at this stage where I can compete or fight for the podiums or wins. I think as Luca said continue to do the job I’m doing and sooner or later, the win will come.“
The Renault Academy driver is currently enjoying his rookie season so far in Formula 2, having achieved podium finishes in the opening rounds of the championship. But the Chinese driver is still waiting for that illusive first win, something fellow Renault Academy driver Anthoine Hubert has achieved already.
In the Feature race at Silverstone, Zhou was producing similar pace to team-mate Ghiotto and Latifi, but couldn’t produce enough to mount a challenge for the positions ahead, stating that he started to struggle with the tyres in the second half of the race.
“To be honest I think Luca and Nicholas had a bit more pace during the early part of the race,”
“At the end it was similar but at the beginning I was struggling with my tyre balance. That’s why I didn’t want to get too close because I knew I would destroy the tyres even more and I was trying to keep them alive for the end of the race.
“If you’re leading the race it’s obviously another situation but I think these two did a good a job so congratulations to them.”
Budapest marks the final round before the series heads into its summer break. Zhou lies sixth overall in the drivers’ championship behind Aitken but ahead of Hubert. All three Renault Academy drivers are next to each other in the drivers’ championship, taking up the fifth, sixth and seventh place spots.
The Hungaroring is a track Zhou has previous experience having raced here in the last three years with FIA European Formula 3, taking home three podium appearances in those three years. Zhou admits that the 2.7 mile long circuit is one of his favourites out of the whole F2 calendar.
“Budapest is my favourite track of the year and I have a decent record there,” commented Zhou.
“I enjoy the track layout with the medium to high speed corners. It’s fun to drive especially on a qualifying lap.
“I’ve been back to China for a week to see family and friends and to train and now I’m looking forward to getting back in the seat.”