A close and hard-fought qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps handed PREMA Racing a positive second row start for the feature race of FIA Formula 2 at the Belgian venue. The session, which was red-flagged twice, was run in fully dry conditions.
Robert Shwartzman improved to post the fourth fastest lap of the session with his second set of tyres, a valuable result considering that he got the nod on his closest championship contenders at the moment. The Russian is now looking forward to race 1 relying on a great starting position.
Mick Schumacher will start not far from him, the 20-year-old German ending up less than two-tenths of a second away from his teammate in seventh place. Schumacher will take-off from the fourth row with all his hope intact on a racetrack that normally offers great overtaking opportunities right from the start.
“Although we had hoped for a bit more than P7, we can still live with this result. Anyway, the decisive factor will be the tyre management over the entire race distance rather than the starting position. Spa also offers some good overtaking opportunities, so I am quite confident that we will be able to fight for the top positions tomorrow.”
“In general, now in qualifying I feel like I'm there to try and fight for pole. The results today were not bad at all, P4, which in Spa means that we can go for it in the races. Today, I expected qualifying to be even better, but with the weather and the messy session it wasn't easy to get the tyres warmed up and ready. Even if we made a change after the first run to help, in some corners I was still a bit too cautious. That's probably where I lost time compared to the pole lap. The most important thing now is the race tomorrow. I hope to have really good pace and tyre management. It's not going to be easy, but we will work as hard as we can.”