2019 FIA Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman will graduate to Formula 2 for the 2020 season after securing a drive with leading squad PREMA Motorsport.
The Russian Ferrari Drivers Academy driver who beat his PREMA teammates Marcus Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala for the F3 title will partner Mick Schumacher, who enters his second season of Formula 2.
Shwartzman follows in the footsteps of fellow Ferrari driver academy stars Schumacher and Charles Leclerc in winning the Formula 3/GP3 championship swiftly followed by a Formula 2 graduation with PREMA with the possible prize for winning the championship is a potential drive at Alfa Romeo Racing for 2021.
“I am really happy to move up to Formula 2 as it is the final step before Formula 1 and obviously a very important one,” said Shwartzman. “On the other hand, I am delighted to continue my relationship with PREMA Racing. It will be the third consecutive year for me with the team, so we know each other well and there is great chemistry.
“Our goal is to win the championship as this year we showed that, even with a new car, a lot of unknowns and high-level competitors, it is possible to be at the front right away. I’m sure we have what it takes to do it all again in 2020.”
Schumacher will be hoping to break the trend of no second-year driver hasn’t been crowned champion since Pierre Gasly became champion with PREMA in 2016, as the German will be hoping to add to his one victory this season at the Hungaroring and become the first German to win the F2/GP2 championship since Nico Hülkenberg in 2009.
“I am entering my second F2 year with very valuable lessons learned,” commented Schumacher, “both in the way to handle the car and tyres but also to work in a bigger team environment. I will certainly build upon this experience when I go into a season that I cannot wait to start.
“Teaming up again with Prema seems only natural, since we work and grow together since so long now, and I can only thank them for again giving their trust in me. I’ll definitely give anything to prove them right.”
The announcement of Shwartzman’s signing today means that Sean Gelael has not been retained by the Italian team and therefore will become a free agent with DAMS reportedly interested in the Indonesian.
Team principal René Rosin believes that Prema’s lineup for 2020 will give the Italian team a strong chance of becoming champions once again.
“We are delighted to announce a really competitive line-up for the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship. Shwartzman will move up to the series after being the class of the Formula 3 field this year. We are sure that his swift approach will enable him to gain great chemistry and results right away.
“On the other hand, Schumacher mastered a challenging rookie campaign and already scored his maiden win. On top of that, he has an outstanding potential which will definitely come to fruition. We think we can be strong contenders and we can’t wait to start preparations for 2020.”