Renault Sport Academy Driver Guanyu Zhou made it three podiums from three races for Renault DP World F1 Team in the Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix series.
Zhou was joined by DP World ambassador and golf legend Ian Poulter in the virtual Renault cars for the race hosted at the Shanghai International Circuit on the F1 2019 Codemasters game.
After his victory in the first ever Virtual Grand Prix held at Sakhir, Bahrain, Zhou – racing virtually on home soil for the first time - was looking to add to Christian Lundgaard’s second place at the Virtual Vietnam Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
Zhou lined up fourth on the grid and was immediately in a close battle for the lead along with Charles Leclerc, Alexander Albon and Stoffel Vandoorne.
With the leading duo of Leclerc and Albon pulling a gap it was left for Zhou and Vandoorne to battle for the final podium place.
It ebbed and flowed throughout the 28-lap race, and with Vandoorne incurring two three-second penalties, Zhou knew he had to finish with the Belgian closely in his sights to pick up the final podium. He duly did that and managed to hold off Williams’ George Russell, who put pressure on the Chinese driver on the final lap.
Poulter finished eighteenth but provided great entertainment for viewers after a credible drive against current Formula 1 drivers and other celebrities.
Guanyu Zhou: “I’m so proud of this result. It’s my home Virtual Grand Prix and to have the Chinese flag on the podium makes me very happy. It was a really challenging race, especially being here in Shanghai with a couple of technical problems meant I couldn’t prepare as well as I’d have liked. Nevertheless, I qualified well, made a strong start and then did enough to take the final podium place. I had a lot of fun, especially with Stoffel Vandoorne with some close racing. It was an enjoyable night and I hope the fans enjoyed the show as well!”
Ian Poulter: “It was an amazing experience and a pleasure to race with the level of field for Renault DP World F1 Team. Even ending at the back of the pack, I was much improved from last time out. It was a strong line up and I will only improve from here. Until next time thanks to all that are guiding me in this sport.”