F3: Shwartzman wins, Peroni in big crash

Robert Shwartzman
Robert Shwartzman

Championship leader Robert Shwartzman won for the first time since Le Castellet to edge closer to the FIA Formula 3 Drivers’ title. The Russian racer had to battle off his teammates for the victory, finishing at the peak of a PREMA 1-2-3, with Marcus Armstrong in Second and Jehan Daruvala third.

The race started in contrasting settings to yesterday’s wet Qualifying session, with bright conditions overlooking a warm 19-degree Italian heat. Following a spat of post Qualifying penalties, it was Lirim Zendeli who backed up Christian Lundgaard on the front row, followed by Richard Verschoor.

The polesitter was in the middle of a three-man brawl for first off the line, having seen the duo behind him make thundering starts. The Dane managed to eventually fend off Verschoor, but Zendeli flew past him coming out of the first turn.

Armstrong had bolted off the line himself, rising from seventh to fourth, ahead of Max Fewtrell, and he was soon honing in on Verschoor, who he swiftly swapped positions with, while setting the fastest lap.

Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala
Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala

Delight turned to despair for Zendeli – who had taken the lead following arguably the race start of his career to date. Zendeli and Lundgaard came together and the German skidded off track – he was left with a puncture, which ended his race. Meanwhile, the Danish driver suffered front wing damage, which forced him into the pits and left him at the back of the field.

This handed Armstrong the race lead and a chance to make it three wins from four, which would thrust him into second in the Championship. With Verschoor desperately clinging onto second, ahead of fellow PREMA duo Shwartzman and Daruvala, the Kiwi was able to build up a steady lead at the front.

The Indian lost significant ground in his tussle with Shwartzman and Verschoor, when he was forced wide in his attempts to wrestle third from his Russian teammate. This allowed the Championship leader an opportunity to pounce on P2 and he powerfully sent it down the side of the Dutchman.

Having come within 12 points of Shwartzman in Round 5, Juri Vips struggled in Spa last time out and wasn’t faring much better in Monza. The Estonian clumped the back of Keyvan Andres and was flung off track and into the wall. He attempted to get going again, but the damage to his front right tire was too great and he was forced to retire, which brought out a safety car.

Verschoor lost two places upon the restart, with Daruvala and Yuki Tsunoda both lunging ahead down the pit straight. Meanwhile, Armstrong’s lead at the front had been sliced to just 0.5s.

The sight of Shwartzman arrowing in on his teammate for P1 brought back memories of Spielberg, when the duo collided in the same scenario. There would be no repeat this time around and Shwartzman cleanly dispatched off the Kiwi to take the race lead, displaying the maturity he has gained from that episode in Round 3.

Peroni thinking: I hate it when this happens
Peroni thinking: I hate it when this happens

The race would finish under the safety car, when Alex Peroni took flight on the sausage curb. The Campos driver was able to leave his car safely, before being taken by the medical car for the usual checks.

This allowed Shwartzman to run home unopposed in first, ahead of Armstrong and Daruvala. Tsunoda and Verschoor completed the top five, ahead of Pedro Piquet, Jake Hughes, Liam Lawson, Fabio Scherer and Logan Sargeant.

Having also claimed the fastest lap, the Russian’s win hands him a 35 point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, with three races remaining. Daruvala remains second with 144 and Armstrong is third with 137. Vips, on 122, and Lundgaard, on 97, complete the top five. Teams’ Champions PREMA Racing are first on 460 points, ahead of Hitech Grand Prix on 183 and ART Grand Prix on 174. Trident, 97, and HWA RACELAB, 72, complete the top five.

Race Result (22 Laps)

1 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 0.000s
2 Marcus Armstrong Prema Racing 0.599s
3 Jehan Daruvala Prema Racing 1.391s
4 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 1.923s
5 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 2.372s
6 Pedro Piquet Trident 3.517s
7 Jake Hughes HWA 4.557s
8 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport 5.170s
9 Fabio Scherer Charouz 5.837s
10 Logan Sargeant Carlin 6.830s
11 Felipe Drugovich Carlin 7.206s
12 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP 7.473s
13 Teppei Natori Carlin 8.620s
14 Devlin Defrancesco Trident 8.935s
15 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 9.924s
16 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix 10.951s
17 Raoul Hyman Charouz 11.728s
18 Bent Viscaal HWA 13.198s
19 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing 15.523s
20 Keyvan Andres HWA 17.850s
21 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport 19.367s
22 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport 21.148s
23 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 22.067s
Alex Peroni Campos Racing DNF
David Beckmann ART Grand Prix DNF
Juri Vips Hitech GP DNF
Lirim Zendeli Charouz DNF
Niko Kari Trident DNF
Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport DNF
Yifei Ye Hitech GP DNF

Drivers Standings

1 Robert Shwartzman 179
2 Jehan Daruvala 144
3 Marcus Armstrong 137
4 Juri Vips 122
5 Christian Lundgaard 97
6 Pedro Piquet 82
7 Jake Hughes 62
8 Leonardo Pulcini 61
9 Max Fewtrell 57
10 Yuki Tsunoda 49
11 Liam Lawson 26
12 David Beckmann 20
13 Richard Verschoor 19
14 Niko Kari 15
15 Bent Viscaal 10
16 Felipe Drugovich 8
17 Lirim Zendeli 6
18 Alex Peroni 5
19 Logan Sargeant 4
20 Fabio Scherer 3
21 Simo Laaksonen 2
22 Teppei Natori 1

Leave a Reply