The 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship got its hugely anticipated start today at Red Bull Ring, and despite some early complications, PREMA Racing was able to secure two solid positions for tomorrow’s feature race at the Austrian venue. Returning for his second year in the championship, Mick Schumacher posted fifth place despite suffering from engine woes in practice which deprived him of most of the running, while rookie Robert Shwartzman grabbed P8.
It was an hectic session. In the closing stages, a red flag stoppage due to an incident on-track forced all drivers to go for a make it or break it in the last few minutes, with huge traffic. A further incident effectively ended the session and basically ditched the final attempts for most drivers.
In the end, Schumacher, who had his engine replaced before the session, was able to nail a top-5 position. Making his debut in the series, Robert Shwartzman ended up 8th, not far away in terms of pace from the leading contenders despite having to navigate through heavy traffic. The Russian, who also faced an issue with his DRS system in practice, will start from row 4 tomorrow.
# 20 - Mick Schumacher
"What the team did today was amazing! In free practice we had problems with the engine and decided to change the engine just before the qualifying. Thanks to the mechanics who managed to do this so quickly! All the more we are all very happy with 5th place. The new tyres are much more stable than the old ones - they allow three push laps in a row. Now we want to try to get the best out of the car in tomorrow’s race."
# 21 - Robert Shwartzman
"It was a positive day. We had a quite ok practice and the pace was looking good. We had some issues, but that’s something quite usual for a first race. Could happen, nothing to be concerned about. I felt good in terms of the car and its balance though. Qualifying was messy and I didn’t get any clear lap. My best lap was set in huge traffic with another car really close to me. I think we didn’t manage the track position perfectly but anyway we could have fought at the front, we had everything we needed. Now it’s full focus for the race, trying not to make mistakes and keep the tyres in the best possible conditions to do a good job overall."