RACE DEBRIEF

    Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou strengthened his early lead of the Formula 2 championship in Sprint Race 1 at Monaco, surviving a late Safety Car intervention to win at a canter over Felipe Drugovich.

    The UNI-Virtuosi racer led from lights-to-flag, with Drugovich claiming P2 after Alpine Academy rival Christian Lundgaard was forced to retire from second with smoke coming from the back of his ART Grand Prix.

    READ MORE: 5 things we learned from Thursday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix

    Building up an eight-second gap at the front, Zhou’s dominance was untroubled until the Safety Car (deployed for Gianluca Petecof’s stricken Campos) sliced this to nought with three laps to go and handed Drugovich a sniff of the win. Unconcerned, Zhou aced the restart and reintroduced a two-second buffer between them.

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    Guanyu Zhou (middle), Felipe Drugovich (L) and Roy Nissany (R) celebrate P1, P2 and P3 respectively in the first F2 Sprint Race at Monaco

    Williams Academy driver Roy Nissany said Monaco is all about “the mental game” in the lead-up to the race, and the DAMS racer played it well, holding off Campos’ Ralph Boschung for a first Formula 2 podium.

    Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong will start from pole on the reversed grid in Sprint Race 2 at 0820 local time on Saturday, after taking 10th with a dramatic pass of Jehan Daruvala at the finish line. The Feature Race takes place on Sunday at 1715 local time, the grid set by yesterday's qualifying sesssion.

    For more on F2, visit the official F2 website.