It sure has been an exciting Sunday for PREMA Theodore Racing at Misano, as the Adriating seaside venue provided tough weather conditions for the running of race 2 and race 3 of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

At the end of the day, the team was able to secure a win and a third-place finish overall, bringing home extremely valuable points. In race 1, a raft of post-qualifying track limits penalties saw most of the field getting penalized, but Mick Schumacher tamed the initial damp conditions to perfection. Starting from P6, the 19-year-old German cruised to third place emerging once again as a top championship contender.

In race 2, held under pouring rain and resumed after a lengthy red flag due to the water on-track, Schumacher rounded out the top-5. Celebrating on the top step of the podium was Estonian Ralf Aron, who attacked team-mate Marcus Armstrong to take a late lead and then pulled away, surviving a further re-start from a safety-car situation to score his 4th win of 2018.

Armstrong, who struggled at the start of race 2 ending up in P13, was later involved in a contact with another of the team’s cars, the one driven by Guanyu Zhou. The Chinese racer locked wheels while defending from an opponent: both him and Armstrong were forced to retire. Russian Robert Shwartzman faced some issues in qualifying 2 but mastered the track conditions to post two massive spectacular. In race 2, he went from P15 to P9, then put up an even better show in race 3 going from P16 at the start to P7 at the flag. As a result, he made it to the rookie podium twice.

Guanyu Zhou, Car #1
Combined Practice: P4 Fastest lap: 1:29.032
Qualifying 1: P3 Fastest lap: 1:27.992
Qualifying 2: P8 Fastest lap: 1:47.187
Qualifying 3: P 4 Fastest lap: 1:47.309
Starting Position Race 1: P3 Race 1: P4
Starting Position Race 2: P13 Race 2: P11
Starting Position Race 3: P4 Race 3: DNF

“In race 2 I tried to do what I could but starting so far back there was not much to do on this track as there aren’t many occasions. In race 3, the pace wasn’t strong in the beginning. I was hit by another car in the opening stages and I was lucky to escape with minimal damage. Then at the restart, I had one car on the inside and two cars on the outside: it was a difficult situation. I braked, locked wheels and just touched the car in front. Overall it has been another unlucky weekend.”

Mick Schumacher, Car #4
Combined Practice: P11 Fastest lap: 1:29.296
Qualifying 1: P1 Fastest lap: 1:27.934
Qualifying 2: P3 Fastest lap: 1:46.170
Qualifying 3: P8 Fastest lap: 1:47.688
Starting Position Race 1: P1 Race 1: P1
Starting Position Race 2: P6 Race 2: P3
Starting Position Race 3: P8 Race 3 P5

“In race 2 I expected the track to be more slippery than it actually was. Therefore, I was very cautious, probably even a little bit too much. After that, I tried to work my way up again. I am still happy with third place. In race 3, we scored good points in really tricky conditions. We showed great consistency and we look forward to keeping this momentum.”

Ralf Aron, Car #7
Combined Practice: P1 Fastest lap: 1:28.719
Qualifying 1: P9 Fastest lap: 1:28.224
Qualifying 2: P4 Fastest lap: 1:46.520
Qualifying 3: P2 Fastest lap: 1:46.540
Starting Position Race 1: P9 Race 1: P7
Starting Position Race 2: P8 Race 2: P5
Starting Position Race 3: P2 Race 3 P1

“It’s great to be back to victory. I’ve been working on improving my pace in difficult conditions for my whole career and I got to the point I really like them. After taking P5 in race 2, race 3 went great. In the first two laps I was struggling to keep Juri at bay, maybe there was something with my warm-up procedure. I kept my cool, and as the car felt really good I knew I was going to be quick so I started to trim down Marcus’ lead. After passing him, I was pretty comfortable.”

Marcus Armstrong, Car #8
Combined Practice: P2 Fastest lap: 1:28.740
Qualifying 1: P2 Fastest lap: 1:27.963
Qualifying 2: P2 Fastest lap: 1:46.069
Qualifying 3: P 1 Fastest lap: 1:46.214
Starting Position Race 1: P2 Race 1: P2
Starting Position Race 2: P9 Race 2: P13
Starting Position Race 3: P1 Race 3 DNF

“After the tough race 2 with a difficult start, in race 3 we had another non-ideal situation. I’m actually more disappointed that we couldn’t make a good lead at the beginning. It would have been nice to collect some points. Anyway, these things happen and we’ll be back strong at Nürburgring.”

Robert Shwartzman, Car #10
Combined Practice: P13 Fastest lap: 1:29.442
Qualifying 1: P4 Fastest lap: 1:28.015
Qualifying 2: P15 Fastest lap: 1:48.458
Qualifying 3: P16 Fastest lap: 1:49.244
Starting Position Race 1: P4 Race 1: P3
Starting Position Race 2: P9 Race 2: P9
Starting Position Race 3: P1 Race 3 P7

“The races went pretty well in terms of pace, and I want to thank the team for their great job. After race 1, where we ended up third, we probably missed something with the set-up in qualifying 2 because the car felt strange and we struggled a lot. In race 2 and 3, in both dry and wet conditions, we recovered a lot of ground. With the kind of potential we showed, we could have been there fighting for the top-3 if it wasn’t for the woes in qualifying. Anyway, I had fun in today’s hard-fought races, where I could battle and gain positions.”

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