PREMA Racing could only bring home two points in P9 with Mick Schumacher in the opening race of the FIA Formula 2 weekend at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. As always on the Emirati tack, the race was heavily impacted by tyre degradation. The PREMA Racing drivers started with the softer option rubber but soon came in for primes, meaning that a long second stint was on the cards.
Schumacher put up a solid pace, but he began struggling as the race progressed, and the prime tires lost their edge. In the end, he could only salvage a top-10 finish.
Starting from the 17th place, Indonesian Sean Gelael made a quick getaway at the start and gained several positions straight away. Unfortunately, he suffered from tire graining issues that hit him, particularly while following other cars.
That prevented him from making further gains and turned him into a sitting duck for his competitors in the final part of the race. He was eventually classified 17th.
# 9 - Mick Schumacher
"There’s not so much to say after this race, with P9 being obviously a bit of a pity. In the first stint, we were running pretty well but then I probably over pushed in the middle part which resulted in having no tyres left towards the end. Since Alesi was on a different strategy and on fresh tyres at the end, he was able to close the gap quickly and overtake me to secure 8th position. Now I will give it my best in tomorrow’s race."
# 10 - Sean Gelael
"The start was good and that's positive. In the beginning, we were only a couple of spots behind Mick in P13 but we could not keep the position, with the guys overtaking me with the prime tyres. We struggled a lot in traffic which grained the front tyres so we tried to use the rears to get the car rotated but in the end both overheated. In addition, we had to double-stack in the pits because we were losing too much time on the track with the options. We lost a bit there, not a massive amount. We had good pace in the primes but as soon as we caught up with the cars in front, if you could not overtake straight away, the fronts were graining a lot. We eventually lost all the grip. We need to understand why this happened and we think we know a bit already so hopefully we can change for tomorrow. I just want to end the season in a positive way."