European Formula 3

Robert Shwartzman: “I didn’t think we would be that fast”

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Robert Shwartzman - Prema Theodore Racing - Nurburgring
Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Whilst acknowledging the importance of pole position at the Nurburgring, Robert Shwartzman knows the hard work is still to be done on Saturday as the young Russian bids for his first victory in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

The Prema Theodore Racing driver could not convert his first pole position of the season, taken back at the Norisring in June, into a victory, but he is determined to complete the job this time around at the Nurburgring.

Shwartzman has seen all four of his team-mates – Guanyu Zhou, Ralf Aron, Marcus Armstrong and Mick Schumacher – taste the champagne as race victors in 2018, and although he has taken three rookie victories, he is looking to make that step up to become a genuine race winner on Saturday and a contender for the rest of the season.

Shwartzman took pole on Friday afternoon with a lap of 1:20.637, just 0.047 seconds clear of team-mate Schumacher, and the Ferrari Driver Academy starlet admitted the pole came as a surprise as he did not expect to be so quick in the session.

“Of course, pole position is nice, but it is only part of the job,” said Shwartzman.  “Tomorrow, we have the race in which the points are at stake. Therefore, we now have to keep on working like this and keep concentration up.

“My team has done a great job for qualifying, because my car handled really well. I didn’t think we would be that fast and I am even happier because of this.

“In the past races, we were having some issues and we made mistakes as well, but now, I hope that we can keep on going like this until the end of the year.”

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