PREMA Theodore Racing continued to show brilliant form today in the opening race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Red Bull Ring. After locking out the top-3 in qualifying 1, the team crossed the finishing line of race 1 with Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman in first and second place respectively.
The German youngster put together another stellar performance on the wet Austrian racetrack to take his fourth straight win, the seventh of the year so far. To make it even more special, he cruised to the championship lead in the process and then delivered two pole positions for race 2 and 3.
Shwartzman posted his fourth consecutive second-place finish at the end of a hard-fought battle with his teammate and then captured the second place on the grid for race 3 and third place for race 2. The Russian continued to show great form. He and Schumacher were impressive for their aggressive but absolutely fair approach to the battle. Shwartzman also took the lead of the rookie classification.
Despite the lack of experience on the wet at the Austrian venue, Marcus Armstrong ended up in fourth place, putting up a great fight to reclaim the position with an outside move. In the afternoon, he got a front row start too and will take-off from P2 in race 2.
Guanyu Zhou had a consistent performance and ended up in P12, making the most out of the difficult conditions of the mid-pack. Despite having to start 20th for an engine change, Ralf Aron recovered well but could not score points. He will start race 2 and 3 from P9 and P6 respectively.
Guanyu Zhou, Car #1
Combined Practice: P11 Fastest lap: 1:24.114
Qualifying 1: P11 Fastest lap: 1:24.279
Starting Grid Race 1: P10 Race 1: P12
Qualifying 2: P11 Fastest lap: 1:23.646
Qualifying 3: P10 Fastest lap: 1:23.777
“It wasn’t an ideal day. Race 1 starting from the mid pack was a bit of a mess with the weather, and I struggled a bit with balance in the first couple of laps which didn’t help. In qualifying 2 maybe we went on-track a little too late and got some traffic. Then out of four possible remaining laps, I locked-up twice flat-spotting my tires. The remaining two laps were the ones that set my grid position.”
Mick Schumacher, Car #4
Combined Practice: P1 Fastest lap: 1:23.650
Qualifying 1: P1 Fastest lap: 1:23.640
Starting Grid Race 1: P1 Race 1: P1
Qualifying 2: P1 Fastest lap: 1:23.170
Qualifying 3: P1 Fastest lap: 1:23.225
“It is great to continue our superb form of late. At the start of race 1 and on the first few laps, I had to defend my position from Robert but after that, I was able to pull clear a bit and in the end, I tried to save my tires as much as I could. To make it even more special, in qualifying 2 we brought home two more pole positions. So far this has been a dream weekend!”
Ralf Aron, Car #7
Combined Practice: P5 Fastest lap: 1:23.856
Qualifying 1: P10 Fastest lap: 1:24.253
Starting Grid Race 1: P20 Race 1: P23
Qualifying 2: P9 Fastest lap: 1:23.629
Qualifying 3: P6 Fastest lap: 1:23.643
“In race 1 we were really fast but obviously starting so far back and with only one usable line due to the weather. I overtook some cars and I was even able to catch up with the guys in front but there was no way to get around them. Then in qualifying 2, we weren’t as fast as we wanted. We have to take a look at the data and see.”
Marcus Armstrong, Car #8
Combined Practice: P3 Fastest lap: 1:23.742
Qualifying 1: P3 Fastest lap: 1:23.926
Starting Grid Race 1: P3 Race 1: P4
Qualifying 2: P2 Fastest lap: 1:23.257
Qualifying 3: P5 Fastest lap: 1:23.530
“Race 1 was good, we got another good finish and more points. The car was pretty good. In qualifying I got a good quickest lap but then I caught a little bit of dirty air from a car in front which cost me a bit even if I got its slipstream. We brought home a second and a fifth place and it’s a pretty good starting point for tomorrow.”
Robert Shwartzman, Car #10
Combined Practice: P7 Fastest lap: 1:23.950
Qualifying 1: P2 Fastest lap: 1:23.887
Starting Grid Race 1: P2 Race 1: P2
Qualifying 2: P3 Fastest lap: 1:23.377
Qualifying 3: P2 Fastest lap: 1:23.451
I tried to overtake Mick at the start of race 1, but to no avail, while in the closing stages I wanted to increase the pressure, but he didn’t make any mistakes and I wasn’t close enough to mount a challenge. I am really happy with second place and the pace we put up in qualifying two. Tomorrow I will continue to pursue my goal of fighting back to third place in the overall standings.”