SMP Racing driver Robert Shwartzman took part in the first round of the new Formula 3 season, which took place in Spain on May 10-12.In the qualifying session, Robert secured the pole position and took his first FIA Formula 3 Championship win in the first Saturday race at Barcelona. On Sunday, Shwartzman started from P8 on reverse grid, managed to overtake some rivals and finished fourth, being 0.5 seconds away from the nearest pursuer.
Robert Shwartzman scored 37 points during the racing weekend in Barcelona and took the lead in the FIA Formula 3 Championship drivers’ standings.
“The start wasn't bad but in the first three corners I found myself in the wrong place and I barely hanged on to P8,” SMP Racing driver Robert Shwartzman commented. “I passed Beckman after a good re-start from the safety car, but then we were in a pack and everyone had DRS so it was not easy to attack. Then we got the second safety-car and another re-start. I passed Lungaard with a good outside move in turn 1. I got by Fewtrell too but Vips had a pretty good pace, similar to mine. He passed Marcus, as I did the same with DRS a couple of laps later, but at that time the race was almost over even though we were faster than Kari. With one lap more, I'm sure we would have gone to P3. It has been a great weekend, we had the pace and stayed in the top-5 all the time. Let's carry that same pace to Paul Ricard and make it go as good as here or even better!”
SMP Racing driver Vitaly Petrov is a mentor of Robert Shwartzman this year. He has attended the first round of Formula 3 and helped Robert during the weekend by navigating and giving him valuable advice.
"I am very pleased with the the results we have achieved this weekend,” ex-Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov commented. "Of course, we still have some things to work on. We will analyze all the races and try to improve the result in the future. We are leaving Spain being the leaders of the championship, and I am completely satisfied with how Robert spent this weekend, how he was concentrated on the race. He showed an excellent result in the qualifying session. I liked his attitude, how he drove the lap and that he was able to show the best time. Qualifying results say quite much about the experience of a driver.”
The second round of Formula 3 will take place on June 21-23 at the Paul-Ricard circuit in France.