Robert Shwartzman was third in Race 1 at Sochi and fourth in the Feature Race after an impressive climb up the order. The Russian remains third in the championship. Marcus Armstrong finished outside the points.
A consistent performance from Robert Shwartzman saw him get to the podium in the first race of the weekend and then bringing home more points on Sunday, finishing fourth in the Feature Race. This has allowed him to close the gap the second place driver to just seven points. Bad weather affected the Sochi weekend, leading the cancellation of the second Sprint Race. Marcus Armstrong missed out on points, finishing eleventh in both races.
Qualifying. The first day on track was dry with Shwartzman securing a good third place in qualifying on his first set of new tyres, but in the final run he dropped to seventh. “On the first set of tyres, the car was quick from the start,” commented the Russian. But at the crucial stage, when we fitted the second set of new tyres, I couldn’t get a good lap. I’m a bit disappointed, because I was expecting a better result and I’m sure I could have done much better.” Armstrong was also disappointed with qualifying, as he just managed to take eleventh place, 65 thousandths off tenth, which would have given him pole for the Sprint Race.
Sprint Race. After a long wait because of heavy rain, the first race took place on Saturday afternoon, starting behind the Safety Car, which kept the field behind it for two slow laps. For a few laps, Shwartzman and Armstrong were fourth and tenth respectively, then as the track gradually dried, the race livened up. Robert managed to move up to third, while Marcus lost out in the final scrap, missing out on the top ten by a whisker. “After the rolling start, I was very careful in the opening laps,” explained Shwartzman. “Because it was very difficult to find the right braking and acceleration points. Once I got into a rhythm, the race became very hectic and I also made a few mistakes which made my life more difficult, but I soon made up ground. I’m happy to have finished such a tough race in third place, I’ve scored plenty of points and I enjoyed being on the podium at my home race.”
Feature Race. Shwartzman and Armstrong started the main race of the weekend from seventh and 13th places respectively. They both started on soft tyres, switching to hards on lap 6. After the stop, Shwartzman, who had been fifth at the end of the opening lap, found himself back on track in the same position, but he pushed hard and passed Ralph Boschung (Campos Racing) to go fourth, where he stayed to the flag. In his DAMS car, Armstrong once again only just missed out on points, taking the chequered flag in 11th place.
Long wait. The Formula 2 competitors now have to be patient for more than two months, before they get back on track for the final two rounds of the calendar, with the engines firing up again at the Jeddah circuit on 3 December.