PREMA Racing secured an extremely valuable double podium finish today at Spa-Francorchamps, in the opening race of the FIA Formula 3 Championship on Belgian soil. Starting from P4, Robert Shwartzman delivered a fine recovery, maximizing his chances and securing a key result to increase his championship lead.
Setting a consistent pace that lasted until the very end, the Russian Ferrari Driver Academy man posted a P2 finish, making his way back to the rostrum after an unlucky couple of runs in Hungary. Indian racer Jehan Daruvala, who started from the pole, saw his charge towards the front jeopardized by a Virtual Safety Car. After being passed by his team-mate, he eventually scored P3 and his fourth podium of the year.
Starting from far away in P19 due to a tough qualy session, Marcus Armstrong put up a massive recovery effort with an aggressive fight back to P8. The Kiwi, also an FDA driver, battled as hard as he could without making the slightest mistake. He was able to clinch the 8th place, which brings him to the P1 grid position for tomorrow's race 2.
# 26 - Marcus Armstrong
"I really did the best that I could do today. The car was not bad but of course, it could be better, I think that the aero balance was a little too much towards oversteer. We got the bare minimum and now we need to take the win tomorrow!"
# 27 - Jehan Daruvala
"On the first lap, I bottomed quite a lot through Eau Rouge so Piquet flew by me before Les Combes. I was pretty confident I could stay with him, but the Virtual Safety Car came out at the last chicane and somehow I lost a lot of time. Although I was within my delta, he got some seconds away. At the end of VSC, I knew that the guys behind me were going to have DRS and it was going to be tricky. I let one car by, hoping that I could catch back with DRS, but honestly, I wasn't fast enough to fight for the win. I still got good points, let's see what I can do tomorrow!"
# 28 - Robert Shwartzman
"The start was quite good. I tried to pass Tsunoda right away but I decided not to risk too much, and then I was squeezed out a bit so I dropped to P5. I stayed calm and chose to save the tires, as here you can overtake: I took it easy, knowing that we were fast. When the gaps between the cars in front increased, I started to pass them. I got by Jehan with the DRS, hoping that we could help each other to fight back to the leader, but I saw he was struggling a bit with the tires. So I pushed on my own and for the last laps, I was doing my best to catch Piquet. The gap was quite big so it wasn't enough."