PREMA Racing completed a solid three-day FIA Formula 2 Championship test today at Circuit de Catalunya. The Italian squad fielded its full-time pairing of Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri in delightful weather at the Spanish venue, which featured changes to its layout.
The 21-year-old Russian capitalized on his 2020 experience to provide valuable insight to the team, the 20-year-old Australian, coming from a remarkable maiden win in his series debut at Bahrain International Circuit, continued to climb his learning curve with the F2 car and tyres.
The most notable alteration involve the turn 10 complex, which was altered to become more flowing while still providing plenty of runoff space for car and motorcycle racing. It must be noted that the FIA Formula 2 Championship will not race in Spain this season and will move forward with two street racing events to be held at Monte Carlo and Baku. Teams and drivers will be back into action in the famed Principality on the 21st and 22nd of May.
# 1 – Robert Shwartzman
"Unfortunately, I'm not completely satisfied with how the test went. The main issue was the qualifying pace which was still not good enough for me. I need to understand what is going on and the reasons we couldn't manage better lap times in the performance runs. The race pace was good and I think we are quite strong there. I'm also happy with the race management, and the simulation was very positive. The starts were mixed, the grip level was pretty low but we definitely made some good ones and the start management was good as well. So the focus is on qualifying. We have to analyze and understand the issue because we definitely need to improve. The next race is in Monaco and it's very important to have a proper qualifying there. Regarding the new layout of turn 10, it was complicated at first, but I soon understood how to approach it and I have to say it's not bad at all. I even managed to get some proper overtaking done there which is a positive thing."
# 2 – Oscar Piastri
"It was a bit of an up-and-down test which started quite down I would say, but we had a very successful last day. We rectified some of the things that weren't as we wanted, and our pace got very strong so it was nice to end on a good note like that. We tested quite a lot of things. Some worked, some didn't, but I'm happy that we found a good solution and we seem quick. It's positive we made the most of this last chance we had to test for this season. The new turn 10 is a bit faster than it used to be with a shorted braking zone as well. I'm not so sure of how well it will help overtaking, but it's quite a nice corner to drive and it definitely tests the traction on exit."