PREMA Racing took a double points finish today at Bahrain International Circuit, home to race 1 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at the Grand Prix venue. Mick Schumacher ended up with a valuable P4 to defend his series lead, while Robert Shwartzman made good gains after a challenging qualifying to take P8.
Schumacher had a superb start, as usual, jumping from the tenth to fourth place in the first few corners and avoiding any mistake as the situation settled. Then, he started to attack relying on his set of hard-compound prime tyres, moving up to second. After the pit-stop for options, Schumacher shuffled down the order and had to deal with traffic on his way up with more performing rubber. The German eventually secured P4.
Shwartzman had a different strategy. Starting on on the softer option tyres, he did the most to maximize his pace in the middle of the pack and then made an early move to hard. The undercut got him the biggest gain, and after that, he protected himself to finish 8th which will allow him to start from P1 in tomorrow's sprint race.
#20– Mick Schumacher
“We can be quite happy about how the race went. The recovery we did at the start, going from P10 to P4, is providing us with a decent amount of points. Even more encouraging is that we surely were among the fastest cars on track, so taking this into consideration for tomorrow clearly makes us confident. Also, having both cars in the front rows of the sprint race is positive for the Team’s Championship which I am really happy about. Some cars today seem to struggle more than us which lets us go away from today with a good feeling for tomorrow. We now have to transform all that into good results and gain some ground back.”
#21– Robert Shwartzman
“It has been a difficult race since the start when I got a little too much wheelspin which cost me a few places. I regained some positions, but after a few laps, my tyres started to fade, so it was very tough to keep going while drifting all over the place. I was losing too many positions, so we decided to pit early. It was a really good, quick pit-stop so thanks to the team for that. The undercut was quite good, with the prime set in the beginning I could manage a consistent pace for a few laps. With about 10 laps to the finish though, the tyres started to degrade again, so it was a difficult run to the finish. We have to sort out these issues with the team. The final result could have been even better for sure, but under the circumstances, it was positive to get some points at least, and now we hope to be in better shape for tomorrow.”