Home Featured Robert Shwartzman moves closer to FIA F3 title with Sochi pole

Robert Shwartzman moves closer to FIA F3 title with Sochi pole

by Peter Allen

Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F3 Championship

Robert Shwartzman moved closer to claiming the FIA Formula 3 title on home ground in Sochi by taking pole position in a Prema 1-2-3 in qualifying.

By taking his first pole – and front row start – since the opening round at Barcelona, Shwartzman gains four extra points to increase his lead over team-mate Jehan Daruvala to 37 points with just 44 left up for grabs across the weekend’s two races.

Shwartzman led the order going into the final runs with fresh tyres at the end of the session, which began with the Trident duo of Pedro Piquet and Niko Kari briefly taking turns on top.

Daruvala then went quickest, only for Shwartzman to outpace him by 0.13 seconds. The third Prema driver Marcus Armstrong then came up just 0.013s short of Shwartzman’s time after going fastest in the final sector.

On the second and final flying laps at the chequered flag, Daruvala once again claimed top spot only to be beaten by Shwartzman, this time by 0.192s.

Armstrong, running further behind on track, backed off and didn’t complete the lap, complaining over the radio to his team that “all I ask for is no traffic”.

Kari was consistently the fastest of the non-Prema cars and finished up fourth, six tenths from pole.

Christian Lundgaard was fifth for ART ahead of HWA’s Jake Hughes, with Piquet seventh.

Leonardo Pulcini beat Hitech team-mate Juri Vips to eighth, with Max Fewtrell rounding out the top 10 in the second of the ART cars.

Red Bull juniors Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson, who finished one-two in the last race at Monza, were 17th and 23rd respectively.

David Schumacher was 25th on his debut in place of the injured Alex Peroni at Campos, with fellow newcomer Charles Leong rounding out the 29-car field for Jenzer Motorsport.

Qualifying results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m52.583s
2 Jehan Daruvala Prema +0.192s
3 Marcus Armstrong Prema +0.270s
4 Niko Kari Trident +0.680s
5 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +0.691s
6 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab +0.757s
7 Pedro Piquet Trident +0.766s
8 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP +0.868s
9 Juri Vips Hitech GP +0.947s
10 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix +0.956s
11 Felipe Drugovich Carlin +0.967s
12 Logan Sargeant Carlin +1.060s
13 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +1.241s
14 Bent Viscaal HWA Racelab +1.259s
15 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +1.294s
16 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident +1.299s
17 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport +1.355s
18 Ye Yifei Hitech GP +1.360s
19 Teppei Natori Carlin +1.418s
20 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing +1.463s
21 Lirim Zendelli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +1.529s
22 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +1.562s
23 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport +1.974s
24 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport +2.174s
25 David Schumacher Campos Racing +2.306s
26 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport +2.329s
27 Keyvan Andres HWA Racelab +2.485s
28 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing +3.668s
29 Leong Hon Chio Jenzer Motorsport +4.583s