Shwartzman hands PREMA Racing podium finish at Sochi

F2 R6 Sochi Prema Racing

Robert Shwartzman put up a fine drive to take a podium finish for PREMA Racing today at Sochi. The Russian, driving at his home FIA Formula 2 Championship event, fought his way to P3 in a challenging Race 1.
The action went underway late in the afternoon due to major weather disruptions. After a long wait in the pouring rain this morning, the cars were headed back to the paddock, and the opening race was moved forward, with Race 2 eventually canceled.
Now with slick tires and only one dry line available, all the drivers were called to one tricky run. Shwartzman gained one position right away and was able to strike back when a small mistake cost him a spot later in the race. The Ferrari Driver Academy member gained extremely valuable points for his championship chase. 
Oscar Piastri started from the fifth row of the grid after yesterday’s pole. The Australian proved extremely competitive, but a couple of close calls with spinning cars ahead cost him momentum as he was forced to take quick avoiding action. He classified in P9.

“Today reminded me a lot of 2019, the atmosphere is great with so many fans, it’s unbelievable. I just focused on driving a good race. I was hoping for a rolling start because I was sitting on the wet side of the grid, and with a standing start that would have been extremely tricky. After the rolling start, I was careful in the opening laps because you never know how much you can push, where you can brake or where you need to go in those conditions. After that, we started to pick up the pace. I also made some mistakes, which made my life harder. Hughes passed me at some points but quickly got him back, then I tried to catch Vips, but it was really easy to make mistakes. At some point, I was going for the fastest lap and lost the car on a wet patch, it was quite a moment. I’m happy to have finished a challenging race in P3. It’s good points and a podium, and I was delighted to see the fans cheering!”
Qualifying: P7
Starting Grid Race 1: P4
Fastest Lap: 1:48.098
Race 1: P3

“It wasn’t a great race, and it was always going to be tricky given the conditions and starting from 10th. I think I made a few too many mistakes, which is unfortunate, and I could have got a couple of points, but it is what it is. We will be starting out front tomorrow, and I think the pace is quite good. We just got stuck behind slower cars. Tomorrow will be a different story, and I’m looking forward to the race.”
Qualifing: P1
Starting Grid Race 1: P10
Fastest Lap: 1:47.465
Race 1: P9

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