PREMA Theodore Racing secured a double podium finish in the opening race of the FIA Formula 3 weekend at Hungaroring. With a remarkable display of performance and consistency, Chinese racer Guanyu Zhou posted an impressive second place and then proceeded to take more valuable results in qualifying 2, which sets the grid for Sunday’s two races. He will take-off from P3 and P5 in race 2 and 3 respectively. Russian Robert Shwartzman secured the final step on the podium in race 1, keeping a high pace all-distance long to secure his first podium finish in the series. He also ended up in first place among rookies. Despite being forced to retire early by a contact, Marcus Armstrong delivered in qualifying 2 with two second-row starts. He will be P4 on the grid for race 2, and P3 in race 3.
Mick Schumacher battled his way in race 1, navigating through a very eventful first lap to finish P4. In qualifying 2, he scored P11 and P9 for race 2 and 3 respectively. Unfortunately, Ralf Aron was the least lucky of the Prema field. In race 1 he crossed the line in P2, but a jump start penalty brought him down to P5. Then in qualifying 2, he faced set-up issues ending up in P15 overall and scoring another P15 for race 3 with his second fastest lap.
# 1 - Guanyu Zhou
“The start of race 1 was very tricky with lots of cars going for the same spots. In turn 2 I made up the position I had lost in turn 1, then I was pretty much running alone and just focused on keeping the gap within five seconds from Ralf. I really enjoyed it, the pace was great and the tires strong as they have been all weekend. Qualifying 2 wasn’t the easiest but we got good results so I’m looking forward to race 2 and 3.”
# 4 - Mick Schumacher
“Overall we scored good points in race 1 when I shuffled to fifth place in the opening laps. I was quick and could gain ground, but eventually ended up in fourth place. In qualifying 2 we didn’t get the results we expected. We hope to fight back tomorrow and score more points.”
# 7 - Ralf Aron
“Qualifying 2 didn’t go well. We still don’t understand what happened, I was missing grip everywhere. In race 1 the pace was good. I stayed in second place, keeping my teammates at bay, but I was penalized five seconds for a very small movement on the starting grid. It is what it is though and we need to push to get back in shape tomorrow.”
# 8 - Marcus Armstrong
"I had a great start but another car drove into my left rear tire and gave me a puncture. That was it for race 1. Qualifying 2 was not too bad, we set three very good laps and the speed was good too. I'm happy with the car and ultimately we will start race 2 and 3 in a good position tomorrow..."
# 10 - Robert Schwartzman
“The start was on the wet part of the track, so I lost some positions, but I kept it clean. At the first corner, I saw that everybody was going wide so I tried to brake earlier and stay on the inside. It went quite well, then I fought with three other cars in turn 2 trying to stay on the inside. By doing so, I passed one car on the outside of turn 3. In the beginning, I was quite fast and I caught Guanyu but as the race progressed he was really quick. Then in the final stages, I had some degradation but generally, the car felt very good. It feels great to get my first FIA Formula 3 podium.”