The Russian Ferrari Driver Academy student wins Race-1 at the end of a very tough race. Mick Schumacher comes close to the podium, Callum Ilott and Marcus Armstrong also in the points.
Seven days on from his FIA Formula 2 debut, Robert Shwartzman took his first win in the category. The 20 year old FDA driver with the Prema team will long remember this win, at the end of a very demanding race that was very nearly compromised right from the start.
Helpful red flag. The race started an hour late behind the Safety Car as it was still raining heavily. Shwartzman’s engine started to overheat at the slow speed and his race nearly ended before it started, but then he got a break. “When I saw the red flag I breathed a sigh of relief,” said Shwartzman after the race. “Everything was fine before the restart, after the team fixed the problem. I started sixth and made up ground trying not to take too many risks on the very wet track. The strategy was perfect: after the pit stop, I managed to overtake Guan Yu Zhou to take the lead, while in the final laps I tried to manage the tyres as much as possible, while fighting off Yuki Tsunoda. It all ended well,” concluded Shwartzman. “I can't deny I was surprised to find myself on the top step of the podium in just my second weekend in a demanding series like Formula 2. I want to thank the team very much for its support and I just have to dedicate this win to my father.”
New leader. Thanks to today’s win, Shwartzman now leads the championship on 48 points, 12 more than Callum Ilott. The English FDA driver was heading for a podium for much of the race in the UNI-Virtuosi team car, having started third. But in the closing stages, his tyres were going off and he had to settle for fifth, still a good result. Ilott crossed the line behind Mick Schumacher (Prema) who, having started ninth, came very close to the podium, missing out on third place by just a tenth of a second.
The others. As for the other FDA runners, Marcus Armstrong (ART Grand Prix) finished seventh and Giuliano Alesi (HWA Racelab) was 21st. The points finish meant that Armstrong is still fourth in the classification and to ensure a front row start for Race 2, tomorrow in Spielberg, the final race in Austria.