Robert Shwartzman hopes his performance in the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi impressed Haas as well as Ferrari, after setting the fastest time on the final day.
The Formula 2 runner-up was the only driver using a 2021-spec car on Wednesday, with all other teams except Haas having done their Young Driver Test running on Tuesday. Despite that, in the car that was slowest all season Shwartzman put in some strong qualifying simulations late in the day to set the pace ahead of the mule cars testing 18-inch tires, and he says it capped a really productive test for him.
“Overall I came here for the experience,” Shwartzman said. “We’ve done more than 200 laps which is very good in one and a half days. I changed teams so I have some understanding of how one team works and another team works, and also the differences in the cars thanks to the testing items we did. So overall it was a very good two days experience-wise.
“I’m happy. Honestly it’s the cherry on the cake when you leave the track and you’re the quickest — it still feels good. I’m just happy for that but it was definitely not my target at any point. The target was to always improve, which I achieved. Always do better, whether it was a long stint to be consistent or do what the team is asking me.
“The team is very happy, and I’m happy because if they’re happy then it means I did a good job. So overall a very, very good two days.”
Shwartzman hopes he has proven himself valuable enough to Haas to earn the chance to carry out its mandatory two free practice outings next year that must be given to rookies.
“It is the next step, basically. Hopefully I will get FPs with the Scuderia, and maybe also with Haas — I would love to do the FPs with Haas because it’s another team, a new experience, and any driving is good driving. Even if it’s a short amount it’s still very positive and good learning because it’s going to be at different tracks, so it’ll be very important to just feel the car in different environments.”