Shwartzman Clinches Rookie Title but Eyes Third in Overall Championship

by Paul Hensby
Robert Shwartzman - Prema Theodore Racing - Hockenheimring

Robert Shwartzman clinched the rookie title of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship during Saturday’s opening race of the weekend at the Hockenheimring, and still has eyes on finishing third in the overall standings going into Sunday’s final race of the season.

The SMP Racing and Ferrari Driver Academy-backed Prema Theodore Racing driver finished second behind team-mate Guanyu Zhou in the opening race but the result was enough to put him enough points of Jüri Vips in the rookie standings, and he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in race two, although that result did end a run of seven consecutive races standing on the overall podium.

Shwartzman sits thirteen points behind Vips in the overall standings heading into race thirty of thirty and will start from pole position on Sunday while the Estonian starts third.  Should those positions remain the same, it will be Vips who claims third, so he will be relying on others to get in between them to achieve the position.

“Race 1 went well, we started P3 and gained a position with a pretty good pace,” said Shwartzman.  “Only at the end we lost a little bit of time and Jüri tried to go for an attack. I defended well, and everything went OK even with the safety-car restarts.

“In race 2 I did a good start, but in turn 8 [Alex] Palou divebombed too late and I had to move away not to make contact. I couldn’t cross over and Ralf [Aron] was in the perfect position. After the restart I got Palou, but [Jehan] Daruvala was coming strong and eventually got by. It’s a bit of a pity.

“We have a chance to fight for third place overall in points tomorrow and we will give our 100 per cent.”

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