Russian Ferrari driver makes admission about his F1 chances

Robert Shwartzman raced in F2 in both 2020 and 2021 and is highly regarded as a Ferrari Driver Academy member.

After a strong Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Charles Leclerc claimed second in the Drivers’ Championship and Ferrari claimed second in the Constructors’, the Scuderia sealed a brilliant 1-2-3 in the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Whilst the timing sheet for the post-season test is somewhat meaningless, Ferrari will still take confidence from a positive day’s running.

Leclerc topped the leaderboard with Carlos Sainz in second; the two Ferrari drivers shared a car during the day.

Ferrari development driver Robert Shwartzman completed a full day of running in the young drivers test, where the Russian-Israeli driver ended the day in third, wrapping up a strong performance.

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Shwartzman has driven for Ferrari in FP1 in the United States and at Abu Dhabi this season, completing the Italians FP1 ‘rookie requirement’ for the campaign.

The young driver hasn’t raced full-time in 2022 after having to change his racing licence from Russian to Israeli following the current conflict in Eastern Europe; however, he’s remained a pivotal part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

The 23-year-old was “very happy” with how the test in Abu Dhabi went and hailed the data he gathered for 2023 as “very positive”.

“We finished a very positive test day in Abu Dhabi with 116 laps and a solid amount of work,” said Shwartzman in Ferrari’s official press release.

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“The testing programme was quite comprehensive with performance runs, race simulations, tests and practice starts.

“I feel I made a good improvement from Friday’s FP1 and for most of the sessions I was fairly close to Charles and Carlos pace-wise, which is also very positive for me.

“There are always things to improve but I think the potential we showed was very good.

“In general, I am also very happy with the work we did this year with the team back at Maranello on the simulator as the car feels very similar.

“It was great having the chance to drive for the team again and I really enjoyed today.”

What the driver will do in 2023 remains to be seen, with him not having raced full-time since 2021.

Shwartzman competed in the junior category in both 2020 and 2021, where he came runner-up in the latter campaign.

Ferrari remain massive fans of Shwartzman and his potential; however, after missing out on an F1 seat for 2023, the driver is becoming aware that a career at the pinnacle of motorsport is looking increasingly likely to not happen.

“What will happen [in the future] I don’t know yet, but it’s super-hard and challenging to get into Formula 1,” said Shwartzman.

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“I always pushed and worked really hard with the dream, or target, to get to Formula 1.

“Will it happen or not? At this stage, I don’t know. I can guess maybe not.

“That’s obviously very sad for me because it’s been such big work and I kept on pushing and believing, and at the end still it doesn’t happen for various reasons.”