Shwartzman: Setting the pace 'always the cherry on the cake'

© XPB 

Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman will head into the winter as the man who topped the final test session of the 2021 F1 season, the young Russian calling his achievement "a cherry on the cake".

Shwartzman took part in the second day of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi with Haas and ran onboard the US outfit's 2021 VF-21, a car inherently faster than the mule cars fielded by the nine other teams that took part in the test.

The 22-year-old raked in 130 laps, the quickest of which was a 1m25.348s that edged the best effort by McLaren's Lando Norris onboard the Woking-based outfit's mule car by 0.461s.

“I’m very happy and I learned a lot which is very positive – I was always improving and progressing which is a very important thing,” said Shwartzman.

“It’s been a big pleasure to drive for Haas today, it’s a different team and new environment but it went quickly.

“The team and people around were very nice and they were happy with what we’ve done today, we’ve done some different testing which was all good. It was just a very positive test and I’m happy.

“It’s always the cherry on the cake when you leave the track and you’re the quickest.”

Shwartzman announced last weekend that he won('t be returning to the FIA Formula Championship in 2022. But the Russian remains hopeful of stepping up to F1 in 2023.

“What I am going to do next year is still not certain and unknown even for me,” he said.

“I have some wishes and ideas but it is still not done. On my future I can’t really give you anything now because I don’t know myself.

“I want to move forward, so yeah, my focus is on Formula 1, I want to be connected fully with Formula 1

“Hopefully I'll get as many opportunities as possible to drive the car and hopefully in a year to have an opportunity to race, so that’s my target, and what I do next year we’ll see.”

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