In bright sunshine, Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) collected the winner’s trophy in the 30th and final race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. The Russian, who had already been crowned as the best rookie of the year, crossed the finish line more than ten seconds ahead of second-placed Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing), who had sealed the crown as the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion yesterday. Third place at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg went to Spanish driver Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP).
At the start of the final race of the 2018 season, Robert Shvartzman made maximum use of his pole position and led the field into the first corner. Next up were Mick Schumacher and Jüri Vips (Motopark). The Estonian, who was still in contention for runner-up spot in the championship, only managed to hold on to his third place until the hairpin. There, he became involved in a collision and spun. Alex Palou inherited third place from Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin). The latter retired after an off-track excursion on lap four. The Indian’s retirement promoted Sophia Flörsch (Van Amersfoort Racing) into the top ten for a few laps, but she lost this position again on lap 16 as Vips made his way past the Munich-based racer in the process of his recovery. The Estonian went on to finish tenth.
Out in front, Shvartzman drove an undisputed victory home, followed by Schumacher and Palou. In the closing stages, the Hitech driver had to defend his position from a charging Aron, but managed to keep the Estonian at bay.
Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) finished fifth and was promoted to fourth place afterwards, enough for the Brit to claim runner-up position in the end-of-season standings. Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin), Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark), Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP), Vips and Artem Petrov (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing): “My race was largely normal. Mick’s start was better than mine, so initially, it was a bit close between the two of us. After that, I had a good pace and I managed to pull clear from the others. However, I also have to admit that my tyres were in a better condition than Mick’s. All in all, I really enjoyed the race.”
Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing): “My start was okay, but then I made a slight mistake. After that, I rather had to look behind than to the front. Generally, I am happy with my second place, especially as Robert and I have secured another 1-2 for the team.”
Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP): “First of all, congratulations to Robert and Mick, the two of them have done a great job both in this race and throughout the season. The Prema team has been really strong this year, too. Personally, I am happy to have made it onto the podium once more. Especially against Ralf Aron, I had to do my utmost because he was really fast.”