Mick Schumacher is the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Champion. Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest drivers in history, the 19-year-old German joined a notable roster of winning PREMA Theodore Racing drivers who then proceeded to make their way to the pinnacle of motor racing. Schumacher rebounded well from a tough race 1 and crossing the finish line second in race 2, enough to clinch an early crown.
His performance this season was highlighted by seven pole positions and seven wins so far, but he will try to cap his 2018 endeavour with another top result in race 3, scheduled for tomorrow morning.
After securing its eighth title at Red Bull Ring, the team celebrated once again but it wasn’t today’s only celebration. Race 1, which was complicated by two lengthy safety car situations, saw poleman Guanyu Zhou deliver a stunning lights-to-flag win. The Chinese Ferrari Driver Academy man mastered the re-starts to take his second victory of the season.
Another FDA racer, Robert Shwartzman, continued to show his form with one more podium finish by scoring P2 in race 1 which allowed him to win the Rookie Championship. Estonian Ralf Aron also made his way back to the podium by scoring third place in race 3. He posted two really impressive recovery drives.
Marcus Armstrong had a particularly tough day. After retiring in race 1 due to a contact with Schumacher, he was forced to start from the pits in the second heat before eventually having to retire.
Guanyu Zhou, Car #1
Combined Practice: P5 Fastest lap: 1:32.235
Qualifying 1: P1 Fastest lap: 1:32.335
Qualifying 2: P12 Fastest lap: 1:32.715
Qualifying 3: P8 Fastest lap: 1:32.735
Starting Grid Race 1: P1 Race 1: P1
Starting Grid Race 2: P11 Race 2: P10
“I had a perfect start and pulled away. Then it was not easy to manage the two safety cars but I did it quite well. Afterwards, I had a great pace and I could really enjoy the final laps. I saw the guys behind fighting, so I just took care of the kerbs – it’s really bumpy going out of turn 1 – and took the win. I’m really really happy to have finally scored my second win of the season. Of course, it’s not ideal to fight back in the championship with only two races left, but this weekend we showed our real pace.”
Mick Schumacher, Car #4
Combined Practice: P1 Fastest lap: 1:32.066
Qualifying 1: P7 Fastest lap: 1:32.505
Qualifying 2: P2 Fastest lap: 1:32.402
Qualifying 3: P2 Fastest lap: 1:32.500
Starting Grid Race 1: P7 Race 1: P12
Starting Grid Race 2: P2 Race 2: P2
“An unreal feeling, I am so happy about that championship! At the same time I am so very grateful for being able to experience this, to live my dream and to have such a strong team behind and around me – that title is because of and for them! Everybody at Prema has worked extremely hard to celebrate that title now, we had a very cool year together. I have to admit that the fact that I am Champion has not yet arrived at my mind totally, but I am sure I will enjoy it fully. Let’s now finish the season in style together.”
Ralf Aron, Car #7
Combined Practice: P7 Fastest lap: 1:32.257
Qualifying 1: P12 Fastest lap: 1:32.643
Qualifying 2: P8 Fastest lap: 1:32.650
Qualifying 3: P5 Fastest lap: 1:32.663
Starting Grid Race 1: P12 Race 1: P6
Starting Grid Race 2: P8 Race 2: P3
“I had a good day. It was nice to pick up a lot of positions in both races. I went from P12 to P6 in race 1 with a lot of people crashing in front. Then I got from P8 to P3 in race 2. I had an amazing start and a great turn 2 too. I managed to take advantage of people fighting in front so I gained even more positions. In race 1 we had old tires as it was the worst starting position of the weekend: I couldn’t keep up with the guys in front. Race 2 was a different story. I could stay close to Mick and also Juri at the front. Only in the end, I dropped a bit because there was no chance and I saw many drivers make mistakes. I took it easy and managed the gap with the guys behind.”
Marcus Armstrong, Car #8
Combined Practice: P14 Fastest lap: 1:32.616
Qualifying 1: P6 Fastest lap: 1:32.481
Qualifying 2: P14 Fastest lap: 1:32.726
Qualifying 3: P14 Fastest lap: 1:32.889
Starting Grid Race 1: P13 Race 1: DNF
Starting Grid Race 2: P14 Race 2: DNF
“It’s been a tough day in the office. In race 1 I gained a position up to P5 which would have been a good result, but we had a coming together with Mick which punctured one of my tires. In race 2 I had an ignition problem and I had to start from the pitlane. Then I started fighting back and did some good overtaking. It was fun, but I suffered a small incident which doesn’t change much anyway.”
Robert Shwartzman, Car #10
Combined Practice: P2 Fastest lap: 1:32.073
Qualifying 1: P3 Fastest lap: 1:32.370
Qualifying 2: P3 Fastest lap: 1:32.406
Qualifying 3: P1 Fastest lap: 1:32.443
Starting Grid Race 1: P3 Race 1: P2
Starting Grid Race 2: P3 Race 2: P5
“Race 1 went well, we started P3 and gained a position with a pretty good pace. Only at the end we lost a little bit of time and Juri tried to go for an attack. I defended well and everything went OK even with the safety-car restarts. In race 2 I did a good start, but in turn 8 Palou divebombed too late and I had to move away not to make contact. I couldn’t cross over and Ralf was in the perfect position. After the restart I got Palou, but Daruvala was coming strong and eventually got by. It’s a bit of a pity. We have a chance to fight for third place overall in points tomorrow and we will give our 100 percent.”
“I am thrilled for Mick Schumacher for claiming the Drivers F3 Championship and for Robert Shwartzman for claiming the rookie championship. I’d also like to give my congratulations to Guanyu who took a dominant lights to flag victory in Race 1.
This season has seen one of the strongest fields in years and this generation of drivers, I am convinced will be future Formula 1 stars. I am proud to be part of a team which works so hard to ensure that top results are consistently achieved.”