RACE DEBRIEF

    Robert Shwartzman clinched the maiden FIA Formula 3 Championship title in one of the most intense contests of the season at Sochi on Saturday, but it was his team mate Marcus Armstrong who won, as the Russian settled for second, refusing to risk his crown.

    When Armstrong told reporters that it would be one of the battles of the season, he wasn’t wrong, as three different drivers exchanged P1 in a race-long battle for first, which was only settled on the final lap.

    Niko Kari was deeply immersed in that fight, but would ultimately finish the season as he started it in third place, with his first podium since Round 1 in Barcelona. For all the plaudits Shwartzman will deservedly receive in the aftermath, Armstrong sealed his third victory of the campaign and matched the champion’s tally.

    However, Shwartzman has led the title charge for the majority of the year and knew that finishing ahead of rival Jehan Daruvala would be enough, and the Indian slumped to fifth after a sluggish start. With his PREMA team mate struggling, this left the Russian needing to drive a conservative race, and he did so like a champion, with minimal risk, and maximum gain.

    For full results and more news, visit the official F3 website.