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F1 | A "compromised" first sprint weekend for Zhou Guanyu after Saturday crash

Zhou Guanyu had to go through a complicated Sprint Race weekend.

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F1 | A "compromised" first sprint weekend for Zhou Guanyu after Saturday crash
Fuente imagen: Alfa Romeo Racing

Sprint Race weekends can be a challenge for drivers, especially rookies who have to go into qualifying with only FP1 and then to a Sprint Race that will shape their weekend with only FP2.  

Zhou Guanyu, who has had a solid start to this season had to go through a complicated weekend after finishing 14th, victim of one of the red flags on Friday’s red flag record breaking session. He had been P4 in Q1.

Unfortunately for the Chinese driver, he had accident in the sprint race. This crash sadly determined the rest of the weekend for him.

When MotorLat asked Xevi Pujolar last Sunday during an online media session with accredited media, how costly was this crash for Zhou the engineer said: “It compromised his Sunday race.”

Zhou had to start the race from the pitlane after the team had to work overnight on the car to repair the damage from the incident with Gasly.

Pujolar explained: "We wanted to make sure that we could keep the power unit we had to change multiple components but we didn´t want to change the power unit and then we needed time later at night and when we do that there´s no FIA supervision and then it means you need to start from the pitlane.

"For example, when we had the problem with Valtteri we thought that we had enough time and then we could do that without having to work when the car cover is on. So on that time we manage to escape the pitlane start.

"Second time, we were not sure that we can achieve it in time so we didn´t want to risk it for the main race and because he was already last we said ok better to play safe do all the checks that we need to do. We avoid changing the power unit and we did multiple checks overnight. The FIA was not there we start from the pitlane and actually because it was a wet or inter start, we should be OK then we got stuck behind the Williams and it was not ideal.”

To make matters worse for Zhou he had to wait until the race stewards enabled the DRS late in the race due to the condition of the track.

“Eventually then we got the DRS but obviously when you´re are fighting behind other car pushing so much trying to be close by the time we got the DRS, by the time we overtook him the tyres took a hit already and the we had to manage the tyres with Zhou and that was not ideal because I think we had a good pace as well there on Zhou´s car and potential to achieve to recover further positions,” said Pujolar.

About the decision to enable the DRS the engineer added: “It´s on their discretion if they think it´s safe enough. Obviously, there´s a dry line but it´s only that dry line when people are fighting on DRS if it goes on the wet we´ve seen in the past what can happen. So, one point when they think it´s safe enough then they would say ok now it´s good enough. It´s their judgment for sure come things we contact them they take the decision. We will leave it to them.”

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