Robert Shwartzman fought back to third place at Monza, bouncing back from a tough qualifying session with a hard-fought podium in round 5 of the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship.
The Russian delivered a fine recovery from P12 to P6 in Race 1 despite a white line penalty that demoted him from the third position. Shwartzman then aimed for the same result in Race 2, as he gained more ground and eventually secured P3 with a bold inside manoeuvre at Ascari.
Oscar Piastri had a convincing day after setting pole yesterday and having to start from the fifth row of the grid in Race 1. The 20-year-old Australian was able to clear the messy opening part of the race and eventually claimed P6. In Race 2, he finished in P7 and crucially secured the fastest lap, keeping his championship lead almost intact.
Shwartzman and Piastri will be back on track for the final race of the weekend tomorrow morning.
# 1 - Robert Shwartzman
"We could have got two podiums today, but officially it's only one. I'm happy but at the same time disappointed because qualifying yesterday was a complete mess, and today in Race 1 we got a podium taken away. The start had been really good. There was a lot of fighting going on, and the target was only to get through. I did some overtakes before the first safety car, and although the re-start was a little unexpected from the car in front, I felt that the car was really good. I was getting through the field when we got a VSC that turned into a safety car, but we had a very positive race. Then we got P3 in Race 2. I had a really good start and I was trying to repeat what we did this morning, but I kept getting blocked and I was not willing to take that risk so I backed down a bit. Tomorrow we will start pretty far, but we have pitstops, a good pace and a lot of motivation to fight back."
# 2 - Oscar Piastri
"We got P4 in Race 1, a very very eventful race with quite a lot of crash avoidance which kept things interesting. Making up six spots from our starting position was pretty solid, but it could have been a bit better. Regardless, it was still a good race. We kept it clean and scored good points, which was the aim. In Race 2, we scored P7 and the fastest lap. Could have been better, could have been worse. I think it was a very different race from the first one as there wasn't that much action, especially in the DRS train it was really tricky with the hotter temperatures. Being overtaken by Pourchaire wasn't ideal but then I got it back, and I managed the fastest lap as well which is always handy."