Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala went head-to-head in an electrifying Qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom, as the duo secured first and second to set up an intense fight to the title, in the final round. However, a steely Marcus Armstrong has warned his PREMA teammates that they’ve got a lot more to lose than he has, in tomorrow’s race.
The Kiwi has kept pace with the duo in the race for the Formula 3 crown for much of the season, but with just two races to go, has fallen out of the running. The Ferrari Academy driver qualified third behind his teammates and insists that he will still push them every step of the way, starting from the moment the lights go out tomorrow.
“It's a long run down to Turn 2, and I have got nothing to lose,” he remarked with a glint in his eye. His comments prompted a nervous look from Shwartzman, who has led for almost the entirety of the 2019 season, but still requires one final push.
“Jehan's got more or less nothing to lose and then Robert has everything to lose,” Armstrong laughed. “I think it's going to be fun in that aspect, but also you've got Niko Kari and Christian Lundgaard very close as well.
“If we get through the first two corners as it should be, it will be a hard race anyway because the DRS is obviously going to be very efficient and I think it's going to be fun to watch from the outside for sure.”
PREMA dominated Qualifying, securing first, second and third thanks to the type of pace and power that has been the embodiment of their incredible campaign, which culminated in the Teams’ Championship two rounds ago.
Kari and Lundgaard attempted to dislodge the trio in Qualifying, but largely, the Italian team’s advantage left their trio of drivers to fight it out between them and Armstrong admitted that he was disappointed not to have qualified higher.
“Naturally I'm a little bit disappointed in the end result,” he continued. “I can't be too disappointed but then again I think there was a lot more potential. A good job to these two. I do think that tomorrow's race is going to be one of the better ones this year for sure.”
The Kiwi will be aiming to prevent Shwartzman from securing the title with a race to spare, when action resumes at 10.15am (local time).