Ferrari Driver Academy student Guan Yu Zhou had a dream start to his Formula 3 campaign, winning the first race at the Pau street circuit, which is hosting the opening round of the series this weekend.
Zhou took the lead at the start, from second spot on the grid and kept the lead all the way to the chequered flag. The Safety Car came out twice to freeze the order and Zhou did a good job of controlling the restarts and keeping the lead without making any mistakes.
“The key to this race was the start,” said Zhou on the podium. “At a track like Pau, overtaking is extremely difficult, so I knew my best chance would be once the lights went out. I felt the pressure a bit when the Safety Car came out, as I knew the restarts meant I could come under attack, but I stayed calm and everything went well.” Zhou’s win is an historic one, as he is the first Chinese driver to win in this category.Marcus Armstrong had to fight his way up the order, starting eighth and finishing fifth.
After Guan Yu Zhou took the win in Race 1 at Pau, which hosted the opening round of the European FIA Formula 3 Championship, another Ferrari Driver Academy student, Marcus Armstrong, also finished on the podium on his debut in the category, courtesy of a third place finish in what was a very tricky Race 2.
“The start was chaotic,” said the 17 year old New Zealander after the race. “But at the first corner, I managed to move up to fourth. Overtaking at Pau is almost impossible but I managed to avoid a car that crashed into the barriers ahead of me. I was nearly caught up in the accident but I managed to squeeze past without picking up any damage. Race 3 didn’t go so well, as another driver hit me and I had to retire, but overall, it was a good weekend, given that I made it to the podium.”