PREMA Racing delivered a historic result in the opening race held at the team’s home venue in Monza for the penultimate round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship, ending up 1-2-3 and sweeping the full podium.
After qualifying yesterday, a raft of penalties dropped many contenders down the order but while having to start outside the top-5, the three PREMA Racing drivers quickly regained the front end of the pack and eventually dominated the race, which ended under safety car condition due to a late crash.
Robert Shwartzman posted a spectacular win to increase his lead in the driver championship, positioning himself well for race 2 and for the season finale at home. The Russian, a Ferrari Driver Academy racer, was back to victory after a few ups and downs thanks to a bold recovery and timely attacks.
Marcus Armstrong continued in his spectacular growth and ended up right behind teammate and fellow FDA racer Shwartzman, after leading for the most part of the race. Jehan Daruvala brought home a solid P3 which completed an outstanding day for the team. It was an excellent result for the Indian, who didn't have a working DRS which proved extremely penalizing on a fast course like the Italian temple of speed.
# 26 - Marcus Armstrong
"It was great to get a result like this here in Italy in front of the team and a lot of people who came from Grisignano. It was cool to see everyone under the podium. The car was great all race and I managed to position it well at the start. I used the tires a bit trying to pull away from Robert after the first safety-car, so I decided to let him go so I could use my DRS in the last few laps which was going to plan. Unfortunately, there was an incident in the last three laps so the safety car came out again. I couldn't do what I wanted but I'm really happy that the driver is OK."
# 27 - Jehan Daruvala
"The race was very fun, starting P10 and finishing P3 with such a good result for the team. It was a bit frustrating on my side not having the DRS so I couldn't really battle for the lead, and I really wanted to. Third is good but I'm a little upset for not having the opportunity to fight for the win."
# 28 - Robert Shwartzman
"The race has been really good for us as a team, especially after yesterday's penalties. We had a great car and our goal was to push as hard as we could. We got a few tricky situations especially in Lesmo 2 where I made the move on Max, but everything was fair and nice. Then basically Marcus was leading, I was second, and the first safety car came. I knew we had the pace, so I focused on not making mistakes in turn 1. He got a good gap so I didn't have any chance and stayed behind. After two laps, when the DRS came in, he let me pass so he could fight back with DRS too, but I pushed as hard as possible to defend. Then there was another Safety Car which essentially ended the race. The crash seemed pretty big so I'm happy that the driver is fine."