Prema Racing had a mixed bag of results but can feel quite satisfied with their performance at the opening round of the Formula 2 season at the Redbull Ring.
Rookie Robert Shwartzman didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend with calm and collected drives and came away with a maiden podium in the feature race and then backed it up with another strong performance in the sprint race, finishing 4th.
The 20 year old Russian driver ended the Round 1 and his first weekend of racing 2nd on the overall standings.
“It was a positive race with a good start. I can say I learned how to start here so hopefully, I can continue as I did now. In turn three, I was squeezed out by another car so I lost one position. After getting by Alesi, I found myself in P5. Throughout the race, I did my best to pass Ticktum but there have been a lot of safety car situations and that wasn’t helping me because as soon as we restarted, everybody was bunched together and it was really hard to pass. I was really close but never got the opportunity to make a move. This weekend was a positive starting point. We took some valuable points and we know what we can improve for the next round. Now it’s just a matter of always getting in the top-5 or top-3 to jump up in the championship.”
Mick Schumacher showed strong pace all weekend and without the unfortunate trip to the gravel in the feature race could have been right up there at the top of the championship standings after Round 1. A strong performance in the sprint race saw him move through the field well and bag some valuable points with 7th despite it being disrupted numerous times by the safety car.
“Today has shown again: the speed in the car is right. Although the many safety car phases disturbed the rhythm a bit, we still managed to make up four positions and move up to seventh place. In terms of speed, there would have been even more in it, but Nobuhara defended his position without compromise, so there was no chance for me to pass. I’m happy that it’s going to continue in only five days time because the car feels really good on this track.”