Home Featured Robert Shwartzman wins FIA F3 title in Sochi, Armstrong steals race one win

Robert Shwartzman wins FIA F3 title in Sochi, Armstrong steals race one win

by Josh Suttill

Robert Shwartzman won the inaugural FIA Formula 3 Championship title in race one at Sochi, despite losing the race win on the last lap to Prema team-mate Marcus Armstrong.

Second-place starter Jehan Daruvala was the only man who could deny Shwartzman wrapping up the title one race early, but he needed to win the race and hope for a pointless race for Ferrari junior Shwartzman.

At the start of the race, poleman Shwartzman was jumped by third-placed starter Armstrong. However, the third Prema of Daruvala suffered the worst start – falling to fifth.

Shwartzman was then demoted to third when Trident’s Niko Kari passed him at a safety car restart. Kari then wrestled the lead from Armstrong on lap nine of 20.

Armstrong hit back, but misjudged his braking point at Turn 1 and took to the escape road. He rejoined behind Shwartzman and Hitech GP’s Leonardo Pulcini in fourth place.

Shwartzman reeled in Kari and took the lead, but Armstrong was busy recovering positions already.

He closed to within DRS range of Shwartzman on the final lap of the race and made the move for the lead into Turn 1 for his first race one win of the year.

Second place marked Shwartzman’s ninth podium of the season, and second car racing title following his 2018 Toyota Racing Series triumph, with Kari taking his first podium since the opening round of the season.

Hitech’s Juri Vips crossed the line in fourth place but was demoted to the eighth position with a 10-second penalty, after he punted ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard while under safety car conditions.

This promoted his team-mate Pulcini into fourth, with Daruvala unable to recover from his poor start and finishing fifth.

Pedro Piquet made it two Tridents in the top six, ahead of HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes, Vips, Sauber junior Raoul Hyman and MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor.

Championship debutant David Schumacher finished in 22nd for Campos Racing, after he was spun around on lap 11.


Race results (20 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Marcus Armstrong Prema 42m35.319s
2 Robert Shwartzman Prema +1.077s
3 Niko Kari Trident +4.911s
4 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP +6.007s
5 Jehan Daruvala Prema +8.349s
6 Pedro Piquet Trident +9.479s
7 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab +11.422s
8 Juri Vips Hitech GP +14.020s
9 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +15.501s
10 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +21.576s
11 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix +22.461s
12 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport +25.807s
13 Yifei Ye Hitech GP +26.051s
14 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +27.950d
15 Logan Sargeant Carlin +30.158s
16 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing +31.083s
17 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport +35.981s
18 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport +37.545s
19 Keyvan Andres HWA Racelab +39.851s
20 Teppei Natori Carlin +42.861s
21 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing +43.912s
22 David Schumacher Campos Racing +59.897s
23 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident +63.815s
24 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport +71.999s
25 Felipe Drugovich Carlin +72.808s
Ret Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
Ret Charles Leong Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Bent Viscaal HWA Racelab
Ret Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz
Fastest lap: Hughes, 1m55.513s

Championship standings
1 Shwartzman 202? ?2 Daruvala 157? ?3 Armstrong 144? ?4 Vips 126? ?5 Piquet 98? ?6 Lundgaard 97? ?7 Hughes 82? ?8 Pulcini 68? ?9 Tsunoda 67? ?10 Fewtrell 57