- Anthoine Hubert Award [Copyright: FIA Formula 2 Championship]

The FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship awarded Guanyu Zhou with the new Anthoine Hubert Award for being the best rookie in the 2019 season.

Hubert, who was also a rookie in the 2019 F2 season, would have challenged fellow Renault junior Zhou for the honours, but for his tragic death in an incident at Spa-Francorchamps. In his honour, Bruno Michel decided to create the 'Anthoine Hubert Award'.

The trophy was presented to the best rookie in the post-season ceremony in Monaco where UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Zhou beat Mick Schumacher, Giuliano Alesi, Mahaveer Raghunathan, Tatiana Calderon and Nikita Mazepin, who all contested the full F2 season in 2019.

The Chinese racer ended up seventh in the standings with five podium finishes, one pole and two fastest laps, as he scored 140 points in all. "It is a huge honour to be receiving this special Anthoine Hubert Award for the Rookie of the Year," said Zhou.

"I think that it is something that will be a great memory for me, and for this year. From a personal point of view, this has obviously been a great season, and we have achieved stuff that we never expected to be achieving so quickly.

"Obviously, there have been ups and downs this year, but I am so grateful and thankful to UNI-Virtuosi for all of their hard work and to Renault as well, for everything that they have done for me, to help me become a better driver.

"I am wishing Anthoine all of the best up there, I am trying to do him proud and I will continue trying to make him proud for the rest of my racing career." Despite not finishing the full F2 season, Hubert ended up 10th with 77 points to his name.

His brother Victhor presented the trophy to Zhou. F2 CEO Michel stated: "Anthoine will always be part of our family. He joined our paddock at the end of 2016, at the post season GP3 Series tests in Abu Dhabi and successfully raced in the category for two seasons.

"He is our last GP3 Champion – a truly worthy one. On his F2 debut season, he famously took two race wins, one in Monaco and another one on home soil at Le Castellet. He will remain the only rookie in 2019 who has achieved this.

"He finished 10th in the championship which speaks volume of his talent. We wanted to honour him and ensure that he is remembered fondly in every season to come. As such, we have decided to give this award named after Anthoine to the best rookie of the season.

"It was a title which I am convinced he could have fought for by this year’s end." Aside Zhou, the Top 3 drivers in F2 as well as F3 for the 2019 season were handed their trophies as well, with the winning teams' given theirs too.

[Image courtesy: FIA Formula 2 Championship] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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