A textbook start saw Robert Shwartzman win Race-1 at Silverstone, his second victory of the year. Marcus Armstrong had a strong drive to take second in Race-2.
The first two races of the fourth round of the Formula 2 season took place at Silverstone today. Robert Shwartzman’s weekend got off to a great start with a win in the opening race, having started from fourth on the grid. It was the Russian Ferrari Driver Academy student’s second win of the season and it moves him up to second place in the classification, 12 points behind his Prema team-mate Oscar Piastri. Marcus Armstrong returned to form, with a strong second place in Race-2, the New Zealander’s first podium finish this year, following a difficult time in the opening three rounds.
Qualifying. Silverstone was hot and sunny for the 30 minutes of qualifying and in these perfect conditions, Shwartzman was seventh fastest, while Armstrong had to settle for 14th place. “It was an inconsistent session,” said a disappointed Shwartzman. “We improved the pace a lot compared to free practice, the car seemed really good, but I was a bit disappointed with the result because I think we could have been on the second row. The first run wasn’t bad, even if I made a few small mistakes, but unfortunately on the second set of tyres when I was going two tenths faster than the previous lap, I lost the rear end and spun.”
Race-1. After just a few corners, the Safety Car came out because of a crash towards the back of the pack and Armstrong was ninth having started from row 7. Shwartzman got a good restart and managed the lead well, completing the 21 laps never letting second placed Vips get within DRS range. “I’m really happy,” commented Robert. “The start was very good, even better than expected! I immediately got the tyres up to temperature and I had no wheelspin when I let out the clutch, overtaking both the front row guys in one move. After the Safety Car period, I pulled out a bit of a gap on those behind and had a great pace, thanks to the car being well balanced.” The entire Prema team celebrated the podium ceremony, joined by Scuderia Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, Racing Director Laurent Mekies and the FDA Drivers’ Head Coach Jock Clear.
Race-2. Finishing ninth in the first race meant Armstrong started the second one from the front row. Marcus made the most of it to tuck in behind the leader Richard Verschoor, before a long Safety Car period. There was a close fight after the restart, everyone doing similar lap times, but the podium positions remained unchanged. Armstrong finished second, his first time on the podium this year, something he missed out on through bad luck at the previous round in Baku. Shwartzman did not fare so well, spending a long time running ninth, having started tenth. Towards the end a group of five cars were all fighting for sixth place and while pushing hard, Robert spun on the penultimate lap, taking the chequered flag in 15th place.
Feature Race. There is still the Feature Race to come tomorrow, starting at 10.50 local (11.50 CET). Shwartzman will start from the fourth row of the grid and Armstrong from the seventh.