Tough Silverstone weekend for Zak O'Sullivan

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Despite showing impressive pace at his home track, there was no reward for Withington man.

Young Gloucestershire Formula 2 star Zak O’Sullivan endured a frustrating weekend in front of his home crowd at the British Grand Prix.

In soaking conditions on Saturday, the 19-year-old, from Withington, near Cheltenham, looked well set for a top-six finish before a clash with team-mate Victor Martins.

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The Williams Academy-backed driver put that frustration behind him to register a strong feature race, making up eight places on his starting position to finish 11th, just outside the points.

Zak O'Sullivan endured a frustrating weekend at Silverstone. Photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency.Zak O'Sullivan endured a frustrating weekend at Silverstone. Photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency.
Zak O'Sullivan endured a frustrating weekend at Silverstone. Photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency.

Ultimately, it was a weekend of unfulfilled potential for Zak, who will nevertheless take away lots of positives from his home track, where his underlying pace was strong.

In qualifying, Zak was third after the first run and fifth after the second. However, the rest of the field found greater improvements on their final runs, leaving him disappointingly 14th on the grid.

In foul conditions which blighted much of the race weekend, Zak made a good start in the sprint race, using his wet weather prowess to move up three places to 11th before a red flag due to the volume of standing water on the circuit.

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After the restart, the Withington racer fought his way past Paul Aron at Aintree, with the delayed Estonian hit from behind by Josep Maria Marti, causing another safety car.

At the next restart, Zak made yet another pass on Dennis Hauger and with Ollie Bearman running off at Copse, he made it into eighth and in the points. He passed Franco Colapinto further around the lap to take seventh spot, quickly closing on the pack in front.

Sadly, disaster struck as Zak attempted a pass on team-mate Martins at Village after the Frenchman ran off track, tipping him into a spin and damaging his own car in the process. He retired in the pits at the end of the lap.

The stewards judged Zak to be responsible for the clash with Martins, handing him a five-place grid penalty for the feature race.

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It meant he started 19th, before moving up four spots to 15th in the safety car-affected opening laps. However, he quickly worked his way up to sixth as the leading soft tyre runners pitted early.

Zak then showed his class to pass Roman Stanek and climb to fifth, eventually pitting from fourth and rejoining 16th.

On his fresh soft tyres, Zak then made up five places to ultimately come home 11th, frustratingly outside the points.

Zak said: “It’s always a pleasure to race in front of my home crowd at Silverstone but it’s just incredibly frustrating I couldn’t come away with any points from the weekend.

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“I felt our pace was strong and I was enjoying the challenge of both races.

“After making good progress and feeling as though I could continue to push the leaders in the sprint race, it was obviously a huge blow to have to retire and to then also get a penalty.

“Overall, despite a lack of anything to show from the weekend there were positives to take and we’ll now look forward to Budapest later this month.”

For more information on Zak, follow him on Instagram at or visit

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