PREMA were euphoric after securing victory in the feature race with Robert Shwartzman taking an emotional maiden Formula 2 victory which he dedicated to his late father.
In difficult conditions which saw the race red-flagged before a long pause before a restart, Shwartzman slowly moved up the order after the mandatory pitstop to snatch the win off pole-sitter Yuki Tsunoda who had a radio problem.
Shwartzman then overtook Guanyu Zhou on track to put himself in the race lead which the Russian held onto despite a late challenge from Tsunoda.
At the end of the race, Shwartzman pointed to the back of his helmet and showed a message paying tribute to his father as the Russian heads into the sprint race at the head of the championship.
“I’m super happy about this result. I didn’t expect to see myself in P1 today! In the beginning, I was a bit nervous for an issue with the car which was going into safe mode, and I was lucky with the red flag so we could get our position back in P6. When we finally started, I took it a little bit easy because I had never driven this car in the wet and I had to take a look at the braking points and lines.”
“I want to thank Prema, SMP Racing and the Ferrari Driver Academy but the biggest thank you goes to my dad. Hopefully, he is watching up there with a happy smile.”
Shwartzman’s teammate Mick Schumacher had a good recovery drive from eleventh on the grid to fourth with Schumacher having to charge through the field in the tricky conditions.
However Schumacher narrowly missed out on the podium after being held off by Zhou in the final laps of the race, with the German just failing to snatch third place on the line.
“From ninth on the grid to fourth place – we can really be very satisfied with that. In the end, even the podium was within reach, unfortunately, the race was one lap too short from my point of view. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with our race pace, especially with the second set of tyres I was able to attack well and overtake some cars. With fifth place on the grid, we’ve also got a good starting position for tomorrow’s race – this time probably in the dry again.”
*Image Credit: LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship