It was not an easy weekend start for PREMA Racing at Mugello, in qualifying for round 9 of the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The flowing Italian venue provided challenges to all drivers, and with the pack being incredibly tight, with 14 drivers in just 0.5 seconds, there were considerable swings in positions throughout the session.
In the end, Robert Shwartzman posted the ninth fastest lap with a late flyer. The Russian showed good potential but eventually had to settle for a fifth row start for tomorrow’s race 1.
On the other hand, Mick Schumacher took the 15th place after an early off through the gravel. The German was able to improve his position with his second set of tyres despite carrying damage on his car.
“Obviously P15 is not what I would call a pleasant result. In my first run I opened the steering a bit too early in turn 11 and ran wide which caused some damage on the car. Still, starting 15th is something that I consider to be a challenge and I am certainly willing to take it. We’ve seen in the past that it is very possible to get a good result even without a proper starting position. Race pace and tyre management will be key tomorrow and we are on a track where a lot can happen within these 33 laps. I’m looking forward to the race and I’m keen on improving our position.”
“It was not the best result for us for sure. Today we didn’t have enough pace to be on top, and everybody was very close to each other. I did a few mistakes in my best lap, probably accounting for one and a half tenths. While it would have been difficult to get P1, maybe I could have done a better job. We need to analyze why we lose a little bit in every sector to be ready for tomorrow. It’s going to be a really challenging race, with high degradation. We need to play it smart. Hopefully, the result of the race will be better than in qualifying.”