The Russian spun in turn one and stopped with the engine off. Despite the lack of damage, Shwartzman didn’t get a chance to restart. It wasn’t only a driver error, a small pre-race setting issue contributed to the incident.
Shwartzman said: “It has been a sad day. I’m very sorry for the team because I could have taken good points for sure. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass turn one as I made a mistake, I probably went on the throttle with the tyres still a bit too cold.
“It just snapped in an instant. I tried to activate the clutch but it was too late. From a very good day yesterday to a very bad day today, it’s something to learn from.
“It shows that nothing is easy, you just have to keep working and learning while trying not to make mistakes. Otherwise, the pace throughout the weekend was great, and I thank the team for that.”
Mick Schumacher had a great start to the race and was in fourth. He managed to muscle his way into the podium places in third.
However, the German didn’t make it much longer than that. The fire extinguisher on the Prema suddenly activated due to some tyre debris hitting the switch. This left him with no other choice than to head to the pits and retire.
Schumacher said: “The story of the race is quickly told I had a great start and a good pace when, running in third, the fire extinguisher in my car started and ended my race.
“It’s a pity because a podium would have certainly been realistic. But even if it’s hard, we’ll forget this quickly and concentrate on Budapest from now on.
“If our car works as well there as it does here at the Red Bull Ring, we’ll be a strong contender in Hungary too.”
Prema Racing heads to Hungary for the next round of the series with Shwartzman still at the top of the driver’s championship. However, they will be hoping for much better luck than they faced today when Formula Two returns.
*Image Credit: LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship