Prema Claim Double Points
Prema took double points finish in the Feature Race in Bahrain despite a terrible qualifying that saw Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman start the race in tenth and 14th respectively.
Schumacher managed to get away well at the start and was up to fourth after the first few corners avoiding mistakes as the cars settled. Then he used his hard tyres to attack, moving up to second. After his pit-stop, the German shuffled down the order and had to deal with traffic as he fought his way back through the field to fourth.
Schumacher said: “We can be quite happy about how the race went. The recovery we did at the start, going from P10 to P4, is providing us with a decent amount of points. Even more encouraging is that we surely were among the fastest cars on track, so taking this into consideration for tomorrow clearly makes us confident. Also, having both cars in the front rows of the Sprint Race is positive for the Teams’ Championship, which I am really happy about. Some cars today seem to struggle more than us, which lets us go away from today with a good feeling for tomorrow. We now have to transform all that into good results and gain some ground back.”
Robert Shwartzman opted to start on the softer of the two tyre options, choosing the opposite strategy to his teammate. The Russian driver managed to maximise his pace in the middle of the pack and pitted earlier for the hard tyres. The undercut worked to his advantage and protected himself to finish eighth, allowing Shwartzman to start from reverse grid pole in tomorrow’s Sprint Race.
Shwartzman said: “It has been a difficult race since the start when I got a little too much wheelspin which cost me a few places. I regained some positions, but after a few laps, my tyres started to fade, so it was very tough to keep going while drifting all over the place. I was losing too many positions, so we decided to pit early. It was a really good, quick pitstop so thanks to the team for that. The undercut was quite good, with the prime set, in the beginning, I could manage a consistent pace for a few laps. With about ten laps to the finish though, the tyres started to degrade again, so it was a difficult run to the finish. We have to sort out these issues with the team. The final result could have been better for sure, but under the circumstances, it was positive to get some points at least, and now we hope to be in better shape for tomorrow.”
With Shwartzman starting on reverse grid pole Prema will have their sights set on the win in the shorter Sprint Race tomorrow.
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Picture Credit: (C) Formula Motorsport Limited