Robert Shwartzman cruised to a phenomenal maiden win today in a rain-delayed FIA Formula 2 feature race in Spielberg. The 20-year-old rookie, who had scored his first podium finish of the year seven days ago at the same venue, delivered a scintillating performance in treacherous conditions.
Keeping control of the situation in the opening part of the race after starting from P7, the Ferrari Driver Academy racer managed his tires to perfection and, when he began pushing, it was game on. Right before pitting, Shwartzman set quick laps to maximize his position. Then he dived in for the mandatory pitstop, which was completed swiftly by the team, and relied on fresh tires to set a blistering pace. He kept gaining positions and eventually made an incredible move for what would have been the lead. In the closing laps, he kept up with the pressure to get the job completed in perfect fashion.
Fellow FDA stalwart Mick Schumacher put up an impressive performance too, putting together a masterful recovery. Starting from P9 on the grid, the German racer was off to a hard-fought performance and gained ground throughout the whole race. Careful tire management and some great moves led him to P4 in a drag race to the line for the final podium finish.
With today’s results, Shwartzman climbs up to the lead of the driver standings, while PREMA Racing sits on top of the team championship.
#20 MICK SCHUMACHER
“From ninth on the grid to fourth place – we can really be very satisfied with that. In the end, even the podium was within reach, unfortunately, the race was one lap too short from my point of view. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with our race pace, especially with the second set of tyres I was able to attack well and overtake some cars. With fifth place on the grid, we’ve also got a good starting position for tomorrow’s race – this time probably in the dry again.”
Fastest lap: 1:15.141
Fastest lap: 1:28.595
#21 ROBERT SHWARTZMAN
“I’m super happy about this result. I didn’t expect to see myself in P1 today! In the beginning, I was a bit nervous for an issue with the car which was going into safe mode, and I was lucky with the red flag so we could get our position back in P6. When we finally started, I took it a little bit easy because I had never driven this car in the wet and I had to take a look at the braking points and lines. I started to get more confidence, and I also looked at the other drivers. When it began to dry up, I picked up the pace and started improving my position. The pit-stop was really quick, and after a few laps, I caught up with Zhou. We had an intense battle, but I managed to get him. I was in front, and I pushed as much as I could. Then in the final laps, I just tried to keep the car safe and bring the win home. I want to thank Prema, SMP Racing and the Ferrari Driver Academy but the biggest thank you goes to my dad. Hopefully, he is watching up there with a happy smile.”
Race 1: P1
Fastest lap: 1:14.978
Fastest lap: 1:27.472
Source | Photo: PREMA Racing