Robert Shwartzman ended his 2017 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign by taking two out of the three race victories on offer at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but it was not enough to see him leapfrog Will Palmer into second place in the Drivers’ Standings.
The R-ace GP driver, who became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy ahead of the weekend in Spain, started the weekend well with a lights-to-flag victory in race one, with Shwartzman happy that the extra pressure of being a member of the fabled Ferrari programme did not affect his concentration at the Spanish circuit.
“There is nothing better than a victory to celebrate my arrival in the Ferrari Driver Academy!” said Shwartzman on Renaultsport.com. “I feared it could affect my concentration, so I am really proud of this success.
“The car was incredibly good. I was even surprised in the race despite the tyre degradation. I want to thank the team for their excellent work and we will do everything we can to make it a hat trick this weekend!”
Shwartzman was unable to make it a hat trick, but he did enjoy two close battles with 2017 champion Sacha Fenestraz, coming out on top in race two on Sunday morning but falling just short in second place in the final race of the year later that day, with the results meaning he ended up thirteen points behind team-mate Palmer in the final standings.
“I believe this is the first time I have won two races on the same weekend!” said Shwartzman on Sunday. “Having said that, this morning was a little more difficult than yesterday, but it was a great battle with Sacha. I had to defend and cope with the neutralizations before progressively pulling away.
“This afternoon, it was up to me find a hole. I gave it my all, but it wasn’t to be! It is a shame that the season went by so fast. A big thank you to R-ace GP, SMP Racing, the Ferrari Driver Academy and Renault for everything that I learned this year alongside them.”