Shwartzman secures first Barcelona win

Robert Shwartzman
Robert Shwartzman lucks out

Robert Shwartzman secured an unconventional first ever FIA Formula 3 race win, after on-track winner Christian Lundgaard was demoted to second place at the checkered flag with a five second time penalty. The PREMA Racing man had been led by his ART Grand Prix competitor for the bulk of the race, but an incident during a virtual safety car period served a crushing blow to the Renault junior as he climbed out of his car in the Parc ferme. The duo finished ahead of fellow PREMA driver Marcus Armstrong.

The scene was set for the maiden FIA F3 race on a cool and dry morning in Spain, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Things weren’t as cool on the circuit, as the top ten was served a shakeup at the race start.

Shwartzman held his nerve when the lights went out to remain in P1, while Armstrong made a move on the front two down the long first straight that he was unable to make stick. With Shwartzman’s attention switched to his PREMA teammate, Lundgaard took advantage of his diverted concentration to sear around the Ferrari junior on the second corner for the race lead.

PREMA lost further places at the start as Jehan Daruvala was plunged down to seventh thanks to a blistering start by ART duo David Beckmann and Max Fewtrell. Further up-field, their teammate set about extending his lead and succeeded with the fastest lap so far.

Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix), Robert Shwartzman, Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Racing)
Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix), Robert Shwartzman, Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Racing)

Simo Laaksonen and Logan Sargeant also succumbed to the top 10 shake-up and the duo were left squabbling between themselves for eighth place. Behind them, Niko Kari and Yuki Tsunoda were jockeying for 10th.

Lundgaard managed to squeeze further pace from his ART machine and stretch his lead to 2.786s, when Alessio Deledda spun his car and meandered into the gravel, coming to a halt. This brought out a virtual safety car.

The Renault junior couldn’t be conquered when racing restarted with two laps to go and he cruised to first place in Barcelona – or so he thought. Lundgaard suffered heartbreak as his celebrations were cut short in the Parc ferme when the officials swapped his first place hoarding, with the sign for second place. He was quickly informed of a five-second penalty for VSC infringement, handing the Russian racer in second the win.

Behind them, Armstrong retained third, while Beckmann and Fewtrell rose to fourth and fifth to secure an all PREMA/ART front five. They were followed by Jüri Vips, Daruvala, Kari, Laaksonen and Tsunoda.

Trident’s Niko Kari will start on reverse grid pole when the drivers return to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tomorrow at 10.15am local time.

Race 1 Results

1 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 0.000s 22
2 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 2.529s 22
3 Marcus Armstrong Prema Racing 3.426s 22
4 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix 4.432s 22
5 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix 10.300s 22
6 Juri Vips Hitech GP 14.536s 22
7 Jehan Daruvala Prema Racing 14.928s 22
8 Niko Kari Trident 16.132s 22
9 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport 17.807s 22
10 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 22.913s 22
11 Felipe Drugovich Carlin 25.576s 22
12 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 25.932s 22
13 Bent Viscaal HWA 29.348s 22
14 Lirim Zendeli Charouz 30.237s 22
15 Logan Sargeant Carlin 31.386s 22
16 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing 31.926s 22
17 Jake Hughes HWA 32.207s 22
18 Artem Petrov Jenzer Motorsport 32.743s 22
19 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 33.624s 22
20 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP 33.756s 22
21 Raoul Hyman Charouz 38.164s 22
22 Yifei Ye Hitech GP 40.024s 22
23 Devlin Defrancesco Trident 40.474s 22
24 Teppei Natori Carlin 42.717s 22
25 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport 43.385s 22
26 Pedro Piquet Trident 45.055s 22
27 Fabio Scherer Charouz 50.378s 22
28 Keyvan Andres HWA 1m07.412s 22
Liam Lawson MP Motorsport Retirement 14
Alessio Deledda Campos Racing Retirement 13

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