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FIA F3 FINAL 2019 ROUND SOCHI RUSSIA

MEDIA RELEASE/FIA Formula 3 Championship – Photo: Sochi Autodrom

The Formula 3 championship is set to reach its exciting conclusion in the eighth and final round of the 2019 season as the paddock heads east to Sochi.

Championship leader Robert Shwartzman was the man to catch in Monza’s practice session last time out, as he has been all season long. The PREMA man was denied a front row start after qualifying however, when Christian Lundgaard put his ART machine on pole alongside Marcus Armstrong before a number of penalties rewrote the starting grid. The rapid Russian would simply not give up though, and took his first race victory since Round 2 after starting 10th. Maximum points in Race 2 would have crowned Shwartzman, but while it was not to be there was still plenty of joy on the podium’s top step. Yuki Tsunoda produced an incredible display to earn both him and Jenzer Motorsport a first win of the season.

Shwartzman (180 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 33 points over teammate Jehan Daruvala (147), the only man that could stop him clinching the championship, but 16 more points in Sochi would give Shwartzman an unassailable lead in the title fight. Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips (122) is third, with Armstrong (119) three points behind him. There was no sign of Team champions PREMA (446) slowing down, as they further extended their lead over Hitech (188) in second place. ART Grand Prix (174) are third.

The Sochi Autodrom hosts the final round of the championship. The circuit combines high-speed and low-speed sections and the teams and drivers will need to maximise Pirelli’s soft compound tyres to succeed. The fact that the final round will be the title decider, despite such a remarkable season, is testament to just how incredible the maiden FIA Formula 3 Championship has been!

Warm Up // Robert Shwartzman – PREMA Racing

“I’ve never raced in Sochi before but it’s my home race so it’s definitely really important to me. I’ve never raced at this level in my home country, so it’s an honour to be there. It is also the final round of the season, which will be interesting. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it is going to be a great weekend.

“As a driver I’m not worried about having never driven on a new circuit. It happens a lot. We will do simulator work before the weekend so we can learn more about the track and prepare myself before getting behind the wheel. We will also watch videos of races there from last year, learn some stuff that way, and prepare as best we can.

“I have already learned the circuit is a ‘mid-to-fast’ track. There are medium-speed corners, more like 90-degree turns, but then it also has quite a long straight so it will be interesting to see what happens when it comes to overtaking. It’s not a bad track at all, a decent race circuit, and it looks nice. I can’t wait to race on it for real.

“It will be the first time I’ve raced in front of my home crowd in such a way. I raced karts in Russia before but that was some time ago and this is another level. I’m looking forward to seeing the Russian fans and it will be nice to see all the flags and feel the support. There’s understandably a lot of talk about winning the championship on home soil, but as a driver I will do what I always do. My target is the same as usual – to win every weekend if that’s possible. After that we will see where we end up.”

Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing

“Russia started off as a very smooth track when it was first built, but over the years the surface has matured to offer more grip. The surface is still quite smooth, which means that together with the track layout, Sochi is not especially demanding on tyres. As a result in Formula 3 the drivers should be able to push hard as they fight for the title after a thrilling season.”

Season Stats

33 The gap between championship leader Robert Shwartzman (180 points) and second-placed Jehan Daruvala (147) at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

9 Yuki Tsunoda became the ninth different driver to take taste victory this season after his Race 2 win in Monza.

20 The combined number of times PREMA Racing’s Shwartzman, Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong have stood on the podium this season.

3 ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard has more front row starts than any other driver this season.

Noteworthy

Macanese racer Leong “Charles” Hon Chio will drive Jenzer Motorsport’s Car 15 in Russia, replacing Giorgio Carrara. David Schumacher, son of former F1-racer Ralf, joins Campos Racing in place of Alex Peroni who continues to recover from his accident in Monza.

If the gap between Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala is at least 18 points after Race 1, Shwartzman will win the Drivers’ Championship.

Between them, PREMA Racing trio Shwartzman (3), Daruvala (2) and Marcus Armstrong (2) have secured half of all race victories this season (seven wins from a possible 14).

Armstrong has led more laps (54) than any other driver on the grid this season. Christian Lundgaard is second with 45 laps led.

After setting the fastest time in qualifying during the last round, Lundgaard became the first driver this season to have more than one pole position to his name.

Twelve different drivers have stood on the podium this season, including eight different winners.

If either Teppei Natori, Felipe Drugovich or Logan Sargeant lead a lap for Carlin Buzz Racing this weekend, every team will have led at least one lap this season.

Hitech Grand Prix’s Leonardo Pulcini has taken points from 10 consecutive races, the longest current streak in the championship.


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