Road To F1: De Vries and Shwartzman wrap up feeder series championships.

It was an eventful day at Sochi for F1’s premier feeder categories which saw both titles won. Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman became the first champion of the new Formula 3 era despite losing the lead on the last lap to his team-mate Marcus Armstrong, whilst a dominant performance from Nyck De Vries in the feature race saw him secure the title with 3 races to spare.

Formula 3

The day opened with an eventful Formula 3 race, where Marcus Armstrong got a good start and immediately got the jump on Robert Shwartzman, whilst Jehan Daruvala dropped back. After two interruptions, first a virtual safety car for Bent Viscaal, who binned it at Turn 5, and then a full safety car for debutant Charles Leong at the same corner, Niko Kari was on a charge as he passed first Shwartzman and then Armstrong. The latter attempted to get back past but locked up and dropped to fifth behind Pulcini. Shwartzman then caught up with Kari and took the lead but Armstrong was on the charge. He clawed his way back to the front, passing Pulcini, then Kari, before he passed his team-mate Shwartzman with a bold overtake at Turn 2 to take the lead and the win. But with Daruvala finishing fifth, the championship was secured for Shwartzman with a race to spare, becoming the first champion of the new Formula 3 era.

Niko Kari drove solidly to take the final podium spot ahead of Pulcini and Daruvala. Pedro Piquet finished in sixth ahead of Jake Hughes. Juri Vips had an embarrassing moment, punting Christian Lundgaard round just before the safety car restart, landing him a 10 second time penalty. However he still finished in eighth and reverse grid pole will certainly help his cause in his fight for third in the standings. Whilst Raoul Hyman and Richard Verschoor round out the top 10.

Here is the result of Race 1 in Sochi.
1. Marcus Armstrong (Prema)
2. Robert Shwartzman (Prema)
3. Niko Kari (Trident)
4. Leonardo Pulcini (Hitech)
5. Jehan Daruvala (Prema
6. Pedro Piquet (Trident)
7. Jake Hughes (HWA)
8. Juri Vips (Hitech)
9. Raoul Hyman (Sauber)
10. Richard Verschoor (MP)
11. Max Fewtrell (ART)
12. Yuki Tsunoda (Jenzer)
13. Ye Yifei (Hitech)
14. Christian Lundgaard (ART)
15. Logan Sargeant (Carlin)
16. Sebastian Fernandez (Campos)
17. Simo Laaksonen (MP)
18. Liam Lawson (MP)
19. Keyvan Andres (HWA)
20. Teppei Natori (Carlin)
21. Alessio Deledda (Campos)
22. David Schumacher (Campos)
23. Devlin DeFrancesco (Trident)
24. Andreas Estner (Jenzer)
25. Felipe Drugovich (Carlin)
R. Fabio Scherer (Sauber)
R. Charles Leong (Jenzer)
R. Bent Viscaal (HWA)
WD. Lirim Zendeli (Sauber)

Formula 2

Nyck De Vries’s start was more or less perfect, he had quite a lead by the time they hit the first braking zone, whilst Nicholas Latifi had to defend from behind. Those two led the way until the drivers on the alternate strategy, which included Luca Ghiotto, made their way through whilst the soft tyre runners faded. However when the pitstops had all taken place, they were the leading pair and the 7 point gap was enough to secure the title for De Vries.

As mentioned many drivers were on the alternate strategy that looked like it had a chance of paying off. Those included most notably Luca Ghiotto and Mick Schumacher, the latter unfortunately was on the receiving end of cruel luck as an engine failure ended his race. Many believed Ghiotto could challenge for the win but he came out behind Louis Deletraz, who had pulled off a fighting drive to get to third. He made the pass and started to pressurise Latifi however on the final lap his tyres suddenly faded and he lost out to Deletraz. Sergio Sette Camara finished in fifth ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita, Jack Aitken and Nikita Mazepin, who will start from reverse grid pole on home soil, with Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou finishing the top 10.

Here is the result of the Feature Race in Sochi.
1. Nyck De Vries (ART)
2. Nicholas Latifi (DAMS)
3. Louis Deletraz (Carlin)
4. Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi)
5. Sergio Sette Camara (DAMS)
6. Nobuharu Matsushita (Carlin)
7. Jack Aitken (Campos)
8. Nikita Mazepin (ART)
9. Callum Ilott (Sauber)
10. Guanyu Zhou (UNI-Virtuosi)
11. Sean Gelael (Prema)
12. Jordan King (MP)
13. Giuliano Alesi (Trident)
14. Ralph Boschung (Trident)
15. Tatiana Calderon (Arden)
16. Marino Sato (Campos)
17. Mahaveer Raghunathan (MP)
18. Matevos Isaakyan (Sauber)
R. Mick Schumacher (Prema)
R. Artem Markelov (Arden)

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