Guanyu Zhou Wins Chaotic 2021 Abu Dhabi Sprint Race Two

Guanyu Zhou emerged victorious in a chaotic 2021 Abu Dhabi Sprint Race Two to keep his F2 vice-champion title dreams alive. 

Pole-sitter, Marcus Armstrong led the opening 10 laps from Zhou after the Chinese driver cleared Ralph Boschung on Lap Three, despite two Safety Car periods following retirements for Alessio Deledda, Oscar Piastri and Juri Vips.

Armstrong however suffered a suspected puncture – only to later be confirmed as an engine failure – on the second Safety Car restart which led Zhou to sprint away to victory ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Boschung.

Dan Ticktum, Felipe Drugovich, Liam Lawson, Jehan Daruvala and Jack Doohan rounded out the top eight.

In the drivers’ standings, Piastri was crowned champion in the first Sprint Race but Shwartzman now holds a 17 point lead over Zhou in the fight for the vice-champion title.

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At lights out, Armstrong made a clean start to lead Boschung and Zhou as Ticktum improved to fourth whilst there was a mass scramble behind the top four.

Piastri made a huge lunge down the inside of Turn Five which nudged Lawson wide as Piastri slipped to 14th amongst chaos as cars went a mixture of three, four or five abreast into Turn Six, with Daruvala emerging sixth ahead of Drugovich, Lawson, Pourchaire and Doohan.

Shwartzman cleared Ticktum on Lap Three for fourth into Turn Six just after Zhou had made a similar move on Boschung for second into the same corner.

The Safety Car was deployed on Lap Four after Deledda was spun out at Turn Nine on the previous lap by Olli Caldwell, with the race resuming on Lap Seven as Piastri cleared Vips and Roy Nissany into Turn Six only for the former two to crash out at Turn Nine following a move from Nissany.

Piastri’s five-second time penalty for his opening lap lunge on Lawson consequently wasn’t served as a result of his retirement from the race.

That incident brought the Safety Car back out for three laps again but on the restart on Lap 11, Armstrong retired on exit of Turn One with a engine failure initially thought to be a puncture which handed the lead to Zhou ahead of Boschung and Shwartzman as the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed.

The VSC was withdrawn a lap later and Shwartzman got the jump to claim second from Boschung into Turn Six.

Doohan meanwhile tried to make a move on Lawson for seventh on Lap 13 but outbraked himself on exit of Turn Six which allowed Nissany to briefly jump the pair of them, only for the Israelian to outbrake himself into Turn Nine to allow Lawson through.

Two laps later, Doohan cleared Nissany for eighth where he eventually finished to claim the final point behind Daruvala, after the Indian was passed by Drugovich and Lawson on Laps 16 and 20 respectively at Turn Nine.

Up front, Zhou sprinted away to his fourth race win of the season ahead of Shwartzman as the pair battle for the vice-champion title, whilst Boschung settled for third ahead of Ticktum who edged out Drugovich for fourth on the line.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 23 43m 27.096
2 Robert Shwartzman PREMA 23 + 3.413
3 Ralph Boschung Campos 23 + 9.772
4 Dan Ticktum Carlin 23 + 14.296
5 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 23 + 14.501
6 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 23 + 17.088
7 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 23 + 19.839
8 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport 23 + 21.086
9 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 23 + 21.942
10 Bent Viscaal Trident 23 + 22.722
11 Richard Verschoor Charouz 23 + 25.881
12 Guilherme Samaia Charouz 23 + 30.899
13 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 23 + 31.463
14 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 23 + 31.867
15 Olli Caldwell Campos 23 + 32.236
16 Marino Sato Trident 23 + 37.022
17 Roy Nissany DAMS 23 + 1m 06.754
18 Christian Lundgaard ART GP 23 + 1 Lap
19 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 10 Engine
20 Juri Vips Hitech GP 6 Collision
21 Oscar Piastri PREMA 6 Collision
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 2 Collision

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