Shwartzman makes R-ace GP switch for 2017 title tilt

Robert Shwartzman will race for R-ace GP in 2017 - Credit: Antonin Grenier / DPPI

Robert Shwartzman will remain in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship for a second season after agreeing a switch to R-ace GP.

The seventeen-year-old Russian moves across from Josef Kaufmann Racing to join the already confirmed Will Palmer and Raul Guzman in the French squad.

Shwartzman took two race wins in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC in 2016 in coming sixth in that championship, while also finishing eighth in Eurocup, with his best finish of third coming in the final round of the year in Estoril.

Peter Aleshin, head of SMP Racing’s young driver programme that Shwartzman is a part of, believes remaining in Formula Renault 2.0 for a second season is logical despite rumours linking him with a move up to the GP3 Series for 2017.

“This is a logical step in the continuation of Robert’s career,” said Aleshin. “He is familiar with the car, and progressed steadily during last year. The team is good too.

“I am sure Robert will show good results and fight for a place in the top three this season.”

R-ace GP team boss Thibault de Merindol believes Shwartzman has what it takes to make a championship challenge in 2017, with the team having taken Max Defourny and the retained Palmer to race wins last year.

“We were impressed by Robert’s performance in his rookie season last year,” said de Merindol. “I am pleased that he will race for our team this year, and I am sure we are capable of fighting for the title.”