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Formula 2

Alpine's Zhou completes epic comeback to claim Asian F3 championship

Guanyu Zhou came back to claim an unlikely win in the series in Abu Dhabi. The triumph will give the Alpine junior a much-needed boost ahead of a make or break year, as he is one of several promising young drivers in the French team's academy.

Guanyu Zhou overturned a remarkable 32-point deficit on the final race weekend of the season to capture the Asian Formula 3 championship.

The 21-year-old, who is a member of Alpine's young driver academy, added 18 crucial FIA superlicence points to his name in the process - points that are vital for earning a seat in Formula 1.

Zhou needed to produce something special in Abu Dhabi's triple-header series finale, and he duly delivered, putting his car on pole for the first race. Despite losing his lead at the start, Zhou fought back to win the weekend opener, heaping pressure on championship leader Pierre-Louis Chovet.

A second place finish in race two, followed by another superb win in the weekend finale, confirmed Zhou's place at the top of the standings. While he only managed to win four races to Chovet's six, his consistency throughout the season paid dividends in the end.

Zhou will return to the F2 grid with Virtuosi Racing for the third season in a row later this year, though he will hope to improve on last year's showing for the team. The Alpine junior finished sixth in the final standings, while his teammate - Britain's Callum Ilott - placed second, almost winning the championship overall.

However, success in the Asian F3 series will no doubt boost Zhou's confidence, as he managed to thoroughly outclass F2 rivals Jehan Daruvala and Roy Nissany.


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