PREMA Theodore Racing experienced an amazing day at Spa-Francorchamps as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship went underway for Practice and Qualifying at the Belgian venue. The team was able to secure two pole positions and put all its drivers out front throughout the sessions. Mick Schumacher had a particularly exciting day. The talented German was able to secure his maiden pole position in the series by setting the fastest lap of qualifying 2. He was followed by three team-mates for an all-Prema top-4 lockout in race 2. Ralf Aron ended up P2, followed by Guanyu Zhou and Marcus Armstrong.
The field for race 3, set with the second fastest laps of each driver, will see Chinese racer Zhou on pole in front of two team-mates and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy racers, Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman. Armstrong also narrowly missed the pole for race 1, ending up second by just 0.010s. While threats of rain became real with minutes to the start of qualifying 2, wet weather tires never became necessary although the conditions kept improving and the fastest laps were clocked in the final stages.
# 1 - Guanyu Zhou
“It was a good qualifying day. Qualifying 1 was eventful with all the slipstream issues but P4 is OK. At the beginning of qualifying 2, it was tricky to find lines and then when we put the second set there weren’t many laps to go and every lap was improving. I’m happy with my P3 in race 2 and of course, it’s amazing to take my second pole position of the year for race 3, especially without any slipstream.”
# 4 - Mick Schumacher
"It’s amazing to score my first pole position in Formula 3, I am really happy! This result shows our potential on a track where many variables like traffic or slipstreams can make things more challenging, as we have seen in the first qualifying which did not evolve as expected. As for the races, I obviously look forward to especially race 2 tomorrow afternoon. I will certainly try to get the most out of this weekend."
# 7 - Ralf Aron
"Qualifying 1 was good, but slipstream turned out being really important and, in the final stages, the car I had in front went in the gravel so I didn’t have anyone in front of me during the last lap. I just did it on my own, and I’m pretty happy with P5. In qualifying 2 we were really quick from the beginning and with the first set of tires I was P1. With the second we went out a bit too late but it was still OK. Unfortunately, I caught up with a slower car that blocked me. I overtook it in the last sector but that ended up being my second best lap. In the process, I lost the car in front so I didn’t have a tow for the final lap. I'm really happy with P2 with no slipstream."
# 8 - Marcus Armstrong
“It could have been better, but in Spa, I prefer to start from P2, P4, and P2 rather than three times from the pole. We are positioned well for the races and there are no points awarded for qualifying. I also have a good feeling with the car. In qualifying 2, every lap the track was improving and I was among the first to cross the line. I’m not complaining, we are in a good position and… bring it home.”
# 10 - Robert Shwartzman
“It was an okay qualifying, considering that we haven’t been really lucky with traffic and slipstreams. In the first qualifying session, we ran alone with no tow. Then in the second, we caught up with some slower traffic. Eventually, I’m happy with third place on the grid for race 3 and I hope to make the most out our starting positions in the races.”