Although he was not one of the trio of 2020 F2 drivers to get promoted to F1, Robert Shwartzman stood out as one of the stars of the season. He had the most wins of anybody with 4 to his name. Were it not for a catastrophic fortnight at Silverstone, we might have been talking about him as a champion.
Robert Shwartzman: Early Racing Career
Shwartzman was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on the 16th September 1999. By the age of 4 he was in a kart. He graduated from karts as a multiple European champion in 2014. For the next two years he contested the F4 championships in Italy and Germany.
Still only 15 years old, Shwartzman moved to Formula Renault 2.0 for the 2016 season where he finished 6th with 2 victories. He also finished 8th in that year’s Eurocup. Following a GP3 test at the end of the season, Shwartzman remained in FR2.0 for 2017 and finished 3rd in the standings.
Robert Shwartzman: F3 and Toyota Racing Series
Following successful tests with Prema Powerteam in September 2017, Shwartzman was signed by the team to race in F3 for 2018. Ferrari signed him to their Driver Academy on the back of the tests as well.
Prior to the season starting, Shwartzman competed in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. Top 5 finishes in every single race saw him ease to the title. Other drivers won more races, Shwartzman was the more consistent.
Robert finished 3rd in the 2018 F3 European Championship with 2 wins and the Rookie title. In winning the final race, he was able to beat stablemate Marcus Armstrong in the standings.
The FIA merged the F3 European Championship and the GP3 championship to create the FIA F3 Championship. In its inaugural 2019 season, Shwartzman and Prema swept to the title. Shwartzman went on to claim 2nd place in the 2019 Macau Grand Prix in November of that year.
Robert Shwartzman: F2 Championship 2020
Prema retained Shwartzman for the 2020 season but this time in F2. His teammate was Mick Schumacher who would be starting his second F2 campaign. Shwartzman took highly impressive victories in the Feature races at the Spielberg and Hungarian rounds to top the standings.
Unfortunately the next two rounds were both at Silverstone, a circuit Shwartzman has admitted he struggles with. Scoring no points in the first pair of races, Shwartzman managed 8th in the second Feature Race. A collision with his teammate and another difficult race meant he once again scored no points.
Non scoring rounds at Mugello and his home race in Sochi hampered Shwartzman’s title ambitions. A brace of Sprint victories at Spa and Bahrain showed that he had lost none of his pace and skill.
Finishing 4th place as a rookie in the difficult F2 championship is certainly not a poor result. Especially when you consider that Formula 2 has moved to an 18″ wheel rim rather than the more usual 13″ as currently used in F1 and prior F2 years.
Robert Shwartzman: GP Grandstand F1 Seat Prediction
Already confirmed by Prema for the 2021 F2 season, Shwartzman is clearly the championship favourite for next year. That Silverstone weakness is clearly a major issue though that must be resolved prior to a future F1 graduation. F1 is clearly the next step for this talented young Russian and he will be an asset to any team that signs him. Well spoken, intelligent and with ferocious race pace, the future is bright for Robert Shwartzman.