Shwartzman admits not having the results to deserve F1
Titled FIA F3 in 2019 after being on the podium of the championship in F4 Italy, Formula Renault Eurocup and F3 Europe, in addition a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Robert shwartzman seemed to have a bright future.
This was all the more true when he was the leader of Formula 2 for his first campaign in the discipline after 14 of the 24 races in 2020, a remarkable performance which had earned him one of the candidates for accession in Formula 1, but it was ultimately only Mick Schumacher among the protected of the prancing horse brand: the German had been crowned when Shwartzman had demoted to fourth place.
The only member of the top 5 to re-emerge in 2021, Shwartzman was logically favorite for the title but at this stage only occupies third place in the general classification with two victories, ahead of veteran Guanyu Zhou and especially by his rookie teammate Oscar Piastri, 36 points separating the two Prema pilots.
« Oscar is a really fast, really competitive teammate and he does a really good job. », says Shwartzman. « Unfortunately, I make more mistakes than him, especially in qualifying, which compromises my performance in the race. I think I perform better than him in the race, but he is very close, he is a very, very, very guy. fast. »
« It’s great to have such a strong teammate because, first of all, I can learn and see what he’s doing, although you could say I have more experience. But still, he there are things he just does better. So there is always something to learn from Oscar. Nothing is lost yet, and I will do my best to beat him in the championship. «
Indeed, Shwartzman must make progress in qualifying, where he only entered the top 5 once, in Monaco. This complicates his task throughout the weekends, and especially in the Main Race, the one that awards the most points, where he only scored 53 – against 76 for Piastri (not counting the pole position bonus ), 80 for Zhou or 57 for Ticktum.
In this context – where the name of Shwartzman has only rarely been mentioned for promotion to F1 in 2022 and where only one free seat remains at Alfa Romeo, which seems to have to go to Guanyu Zhou – the 22-year-old Russian is quick to self-criticize.
« Whether I’m surprised or not [de ne pas être au cœur des rumeurs] doesn’t really matter, in my opinion « , assures the person concerned. « At this point I still don’t have enough results, I can’t clearly say ‘listen guys, I’m winning, I have a huge lead, why aren’t you talking about me ?’. »
« I still have to learn and improve in Formula 2. I have this second half [de saison] to do it. At this point I can improve myself, then I will think a little more about Formula 1. Of course, the situation is quite tense in Formula 1 right away because there is only one bucket left, but I don’t. Do not think about it because there is still the future, there are other years left. My goal is just to do my best in Formula 2, to get the best result possible, to win the championship, and after that we’ll see what happens. «
Interview by Megan White