Wins for both FDA drivers in the final round at Hockenheim. 19 year old Russian is third overall and best rookie
Last weekend, the European Formula 3 championship staged its tenth and final round at Hockenheim. The event went well for the Ferrari Driver Academy, as Guan Yu Zhou won race 1 and Robert Schwartzman won race 3 to be crowned rookie of the season.
Zhou proved that the Hockenheim track suited him well, taking pole and making the most of it at the start of race 1. The Chinese driver drove a faultless race, especially at the restarts after the Safety Car made two appearances. “A good start meant I was able to immediately build up a small lead,” explained Zhou, “but it wasn’t easy controlling the race during the Safety Car periods. At the restart, I had a great pace and I really enjoyed the final laps. I am very happy with this second win of the season and I think that, after a difficult time, we managed to reconfirm our pace.”
Zhou crossed the line ahead of Shwartzman in Race 1, the Russian also showing the strong form he has been in during the second half of the season. He was the highest points scorer over the Hockenheim weekend, courtesy of a win, a second place and a fifth. This haul was enough to see Robert finish the championship in third place in his first season in this very competitive European Formula 3 championship.
“Going into the weekend, I didn’t really reckon I could finish in the top 3 of the championship,” confided Robert. “On paper it looked difficult, but…it happened! I want to thank the team who did a great job and also everyone who supported me. Race 3 was…relaxing. I had my newest set of tyres available and having made the most of starting from pole, my pace proved to be very strong. Towards the end, I tried to slow the pace a bit to look after the tyres in case something unexpected happened, such as a Safety Car and the resulting restart, then in the closing laps I really enjoyed the moment.”
The only wrong note for the FDA this weekend was down to the unfortunate circumstances that led to Marcus Armstrong having a tough weekend. “I think it was one of my worst weekends, even going back to my karting days,” he maintained. “In race 1, I immediately made up one place to go fifth, which would have been a good result, but there was a collision with Mick Schumacher that damaged one of my tyres. In race 2, I had an ignition problem and I had to start from pit lane. Then, I started to move up the order but another collision put me out of the game and it was the same story in the third and final race.”
Mick Schumacher took the 2018 title and the Ferrari Driver Academy congratulates him on the great season that led to him winning this prestigious series.