Shwartzman comes through the chaos for maiden Eurocup win

Robert Shwartzman celebrates victory in race one at Monza - Credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Robert Shwartzman converted his pole position at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza into a maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship victory as the Russian led from start to finish on Saturday.

The R-ace GP racer comfortably held the lead at the start from fellow front row starter Gabriel Aubry, and despite two safety car periods and a late attack from Sacha Fenestraz, the sophomore driver held on to win a race that ended with a red flag rather than a chequered flag.

Fenestraz was a man on the move in the early laps, moving passed Will Palmer for third and former team-mate Aubry for second, but was unable to get a move done on Shwartzman, meaning the Josef Kaufmann Racing driver was forced to settle for second, with Tech 1 Racing’s Aubry completing the podium.

Despite having retained his third place at the start, Palmer could not convert that into a podium, finishing fourth, just ahead of R-ace GP team-mate Max Defourny who was embroiled in an early battle with Fortec MotorsportsAlex Peroni, with the two fighting for position for several laps before the Belgian came out on top.

Henrique Chaves advanced two places from his grid slot to finish seventh for AVF by Adrian Vallés ahead of the leading rookie in the field Max Fewtrell of Tech 1 Racing, who came out of a great battle with Yifei Ye, while Richard Verschoor completed the top ten.

The safety car was deployed on the opening lap when Rodrigo Pflucker ran wide at exit of the first Lesmo bend, and spun into the path of Ghislain Cordeel, pitching both the AVF by Adrian Vallés and Arden drivers into the barriers and out of the race. It was particularly unfortunately for the Belgian, who had nowhere to go as Pflucker lost control.

The second safety car was required to remove the stranded car of debutant Sun Yue Yang at Curva Grande after the Chinese driver found himself riding over the back of Aleksey Korneev at the Rettifilo chicane on lap six. Those ahead of the duo had slowed heading into the turn, and unfortunately for the JD Motorsport driver, he was forced to end his afternoon due to damage.

The race ended just after the resumption when Neil Verhagen crashed out of the race on the exit of Curva Grande after a collision with Presley Martono. The MP Motorsport driver hit the barriers hard but emerged unscathed from the incident, while the Mark Burdett Motorsport driver was able to continue.

Sacha Fenestraz drove strongly to move from fourth to second – Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Autodromo Nazionale Monza Race 1 Result

110Robert ShwartzmanRUSR-ace GP
211Sacha FenestrazFRAJosef Kaufmann Racing+0.582s
34Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing+1.041s
48Will PalmerGBRR-ace GP+1.695s
59Max DefournyBELR-ace GP+2.874s
617Alex PeroniAUSFortec Motorsports+4.137s
713Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+4.598s
87Max FewtrellGBRTech 1 Racing+5.498s
91Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing+6.316s
1029Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport+7.142s
1133Daniel TicktumGBRArden Motorsport+7.815s
1216Gregoire SaucySWIAVF by Adrian Valles+9.063s
135Thomas MaxwellAUSTech 1 Racing+9.546s
1423Aleksandr VartanyanRUSJD Motorsport+10.312s
1593Zane GoddardAUSArden Motorsport+10.949s
1626Presley MartonoINOMark Burdett Motorsport+11.319s
1731Neil VerhagenUSAMP Motorsport+12.293s
1830Jarno OpmeerNEDMP Motorsport+13.531s
1919Frank BirdGBRFortec Motorsports+14.490s
2018Aleksey KorneevRUSFortec Motorsports+15.214s
2120Najiy Ayyad bin Abd RazakMALFortec Motorsports+15.821s
2212Raul GuzmanMEXR-ace GP+16.590s
236Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 Racing+17.323s
2422Jean Baptiste SimmenauerFRAJD Motorsport+17.840s
252Luis LeedsAUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+18.859s
26/RET15Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles+3 Laps
27/RET21Sun YueyangCHNJD Motorsport+3 Laps
RET14Rodrigo PfluckerPERAVF by Adrian VallesRetired
RET34Ghislain CordeelBELArden MotorsportRetired
DNS25Julia PankiewiczPOLMark Burdett MotorsportDid Not Start