PREMA Racing wrapped up an amazing weekend on the team's home track of Monza as Oscar Piastri stormed to victory in the Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at the legendary Italian venue.
The 20-year-old Australian also secured his fourth consecutive podium finish in a Feature Race, a remarkable accomplishment. Starting from pole, the Alpine Academy driver made the most out of his qualifying work to control his contenders, navigating four caution periods, the last of which eventually ended the race. Most of the pack pitted during the second caution, but Piastri never lost sight of the goal ahead.
Robert Shwartzman scored great points for the championship, with P6 starting from the 12th position on the grid. The Russian turned out as one of the weekend's most competitive runners.
With today's win, Piastri solidified his lead in the driver championship, although there is plenty of time to go before the end of the season. Shwartzman is far from out of contention in third, ahead of his home round at Sochi. On the other hand, PREMA Racing can now rely on a hefty lead in the team championship.
Robert Shwartzman: "We finished P6 at the end of a very difficult race. The start was not too bad as I gained a few positions, and the option set was looking pretty good with the balance and grip. Then we got a safety car and I made a mistake, letting a car pass, but I got him back. During the second safety car we pitted to gain some time and it was a 2-car stack. Having to pit two cars one after the other, the mechanics did a great job. I found myself in a group of drivers having the same strategy and tyres, so I just pushed as much as I could, even at the following restart, when I struggled with the exit out of the last corner. Again, I lost a place but I regained it. In the end, I was holding P5 but I started to struggle with the tyres, my front left was looking pretty bad and the balance was leaning towards understeer. I had issues in the corners where I needed good rotation. In the end, we were overtaken by Ticktum who benefitted from the safety car during his pit stop. Maybe if I pushed more, I could have had a chance on Daruvala, but the safety car came out again with no race left. Generally speaking, I can’t deny that I’m disappointed by the weekend. How qualifying happened compromised everything. We had the pace to fight for the win in all three races but my starting position didn’t allow me to do that. We need to look at what is the right approach for qualifying and do our best in Sochi."
Oscar Piastri: "Being the feature race winners in Monza feels amazing! It was a very solid race with a great pace the whole way. I just made one mistake with a lockup after the second safety car, but besides that, I think we controlled the race really well. A big thankyou to Prema for the great car as we even made some improvements yesterday. It feels pretty sweet to tick the feature race off on our list."