Has Ferrari already given up on the young Russian? Schwartzman is sure: F-1 is still real
The dreams of Robert Schwartzman ‘s transition to Formula 1 in 2022 will obviously remain dreams. In the World Cup, there is only one place left in Alfa Romeo, and Zhou Guanyu, Antonio Giovinazzi or Nick de Vries will sooner occupy it than Schwartzman himself. And the Russian can hardly blame anyone for being left without a place: Robert understands better than others that he did not show high enough results in Formula 2 for Ferrari and SMP Racing to do everything possible to move him up. But what next, what will happen in 2022? Shvartsman answered these questions in an interview with the press service of “Prema” and in communication with journalists before the start of the F-2 racing weekend in Sochi.
“If it were so easy to explain the problems …”
In fact, the only problem for a Russian is weak qualifications. Regular starts far from the leading positions automatically deprive Schwartzman of winning chances and maximum points. Therefore, we immediately asked Robert – what’s the matter? Maybe in working with tires or in a certain philosophy of setting “Prema”, which does not suit the Russian?
“Well, if it were so easy to explain the problems, I probably would have solved them already! – Shvartsman reacted. – I’m still trying to figure out the issue. To be honest, I have no clear explanation as to why this is happening. Sometimes I have good qualifications, worthy ones, but there are also bad ones. That is, the problem is that there is no stability that we need. I’m working on it. Both I and the team made a number of changes, this also applies to the psychological side of the issue. I really hope that all this will work in Sochi. We need to improve – let’s see how everything goes. I believe that everything can go well here. “
Another blow to the prospects of Robert – as, indeed, many of his colleagues, including Piastri and Pursher – caused the most strange calendar of the current Formula 2 season, in which the stages are separated by huge pauses, and the two final races will take place only in December. Schwartzman agrees that such a schedule is harmful.
“This season is harder than the past. Yes, and in the past there were very difficult moments, but the racing season itself in terms of the calendar is now more difficult. We started in April and will finish in December. Yes, it hurts the chances of getting into F1. This is a big enough problem: the Formula 1 teams have already practically completely taken the pilots for the next year – even when we had not even started the second half of the season. Nobody decided not to wait for the end of the championship. Accordingly, the chances with Formula-1 have greatly diminished, “says Shvartsman.
So what’s next? So what’s now?
“Of course, it is upsetting when you see that the situation with F1 for the 2022 season is so difficult. After 17 years of work and getting closer to the goal, this is not easy. But this does not in any way affect my desire to win the title in F-2 and complete our journey with the guys from Prema at the top. I believe that I have a good chance of taking the title. I really hope and believe that everything will be very good in Sochi. In principle, I know that I can still win back in the championship, I have already done this – for example, in the European Formula 3 in 2018. Therefore, I will try to do everything in my power.
Plans for 2022? It is still very early to talk about it. My task and goal is to finish the championship. And after graduation, I’ll start thinking about where to go next. I know for sure that the third season in Formula 2 will not go. I just know for myself for sure that it won’t help me in any way, I don’t need it. I communicate with people, and everyone agrees that this is not necessary. So I think this is my last season in Formula 2. If I succeed in my goal of taking the title, then obviously I won’t be able to stay in F-2. Even if I wanted it, ”the Russian said.
At the same time, it is interesting that in an interview with “Preme” Robert spoke about the departure of F-2 more categorically than when talking to the press. But it is significant that he is already talking about the upcoming farewell to “Prema”.
Ferrari helps me a lot, they believe in me. “
If you do not continue to compete in Formula 2, but continue to dream of F1, then Schwartzman needs to move to the role of a reserve pilot. Robert is aiming at her.
“I really hope so,” the Russian admits. – But, as I said, it’s not for me to decide. I’m just trying to do my job as well as possible and prove that I am worthy. Hope they see it. If I get a chance to become the third pilot of the F1 team, I will be very happy. This will give me additional motivation: I will need to always keep myself in good shape, be ready – in case there is a chance to get behind the wheel. You need to be one hundred percent ready and not to miss the opportunity, because it is not so great.
Ferrari helps me a lot, they believe in me. I am very grateful for the fact that they allowed me to work in the Formula 1 team, that I have already passed several tests. I believe that they are still trying their best to help me get into Formula 1. I hope that in the future I will have a chance that they will succeed. They teach me so that in the future I will become not just an F1 driver, but an F1 driver with Ferrari. Their goal is to bring me to their team. And I will do everything in my power to make it happen. “
The next changes in the regulations of Formula 1 can help to get the role of a reservist. From 2022, each F1 team will be obliged to drive young riders two or three times a season in practice.
“In my opinion, this is very good news,” says Schwartzman. – It will allow newcomers to get the experience of driving Formula 1 cars. I hope it will be some kind of positive experience for the teams themselves. They will become more interested in newbies and give them more opportunities to work with them. Perhaps, then they will consider such pilots already as candidates for the role of the main riders. “
Some of Robert’s colleagues, meanwhile, are beginning to look around. For example, Christian Lundgaard has already made his IndyCar debut. Schwartzman himself has not yet thought about moving to America.
“IndyCar? I didn’t think about it at all, I didn’t even look in that direction, because I believe that I have a chance to get into Formula-1. No matter how big or small they are, my goal is F-1. So first we need to finish the Formula 2 championship as best as possible, and then I will communicate with Ferrari, with SMP Racing, and together we will think about the further preparation process, in general where we are striving and moving. But the goal is to get into F1 ”.
After the Russian stage, a huge two-month hole is gaping in the Formula 2 calendar. Maybe at this point Ferrari will invite Schwartzman to attend the Grand Prix stages or even allow Alfa Romeo or Haas to arrange for Robert to participate in the first Friday practice?
“I don’t have much information yet,” the Russian admits. – Indeed, there is a long pause ahead, and it is clear that during this break we will be working. Right now, my coach is standing next to me and shows that we will have serious training in the gym. As for Ferrari, I don’t know. But if they invite me to the Grand Prix or tell me to do this or that, of course, I will do it without any hesitation. But there is no information yet, they just want me to focus on Formula 2. And then we’ll see. “