This was a day to remember for the Ferrari Driver Academy and 20-year-old Robert Shwartzman as the Russian driver’s second-place finish in the first F3 race of the Sochi F1 weekend.
Although he finished behind his fellow FDA apprentice Marcus Armstrong was enough to assure him of the championship crown in this year’s FIA Formula 3 series.
It was all the more the sweet given that this prestigious moment came at Shwartzman’s home race.
“I am feeling emotional and it’s not easy to find the right words to describe my feelings,” commented a jubilant Shwartzman.
“At the start of the season, I could never have imagined that I would experience a day like this. It’s not been an easy weekend and I felt under pressure so that I didn’t sleep much the last two nights, but I’m sure it will be a lot better tonight.”
Schwartzman is now on 202 points while the winner of Race-1, Marcus Armstrong, now moves up to third in the classification. The two FDA drivers were congratulated under the podium by Mattia Binotto and the Scuderia engineers who had watched the race from the garage.”
It was an action-packed race and Armstrong managed to pass Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala at the start to take the lead. The track was very slippery at first because of a little bit of rain and the Safety Car was required twice.
Armstrong lost the lead on lap 9, dropping to fourth, but the New Zealander upped his pace and got past Shwartzman on the final lap before the chequered flag.
Final race. Race 2 takes place tomorrow at Sochi to bring the curtain down on this Formula 3 season. Robert and Marcus will start from the fourth row of the grid.