08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
I felt today was my strongest race in Formula 1 so far – even though that wasn’t reflected in the final result.
The tyres at Silverstone were always going to be a challenge. Pirelli went a step softer from last weekend, and I went with an aggressive strategy on the first stint by pitting early.
There was a big train at that time. It’s hard enough to pass someone when the guy in front doesn’t have DRS, but when everyone has it you’re not going anywhere.
As George was in front he quite rightly had priority, so he stopped first, before me. I thought I could maybe have passed Giovinazzi in the first stint as I had way more pace than both him and George, but as we were in the DRS train, it wasn’t easy.
Once I got past Magnussen I was so much quicker in the second stint, after getting out of the dirty air, but with five laps remaining I got a vibration with the tyres. It was sudden, like a step, boom, there it was – and it was going to get worse and worse.
I think I could have finished a few positions higher, but there were no points at stake and there was no sense in taking risks from the position I was in.
I decided to pit as a precaution, and that at least meant the last four laps were fun – more like qualifying laps! The only disappointment was the final result was worse than I deserved.
Overall it was an encouraging weekend, both for me and the team. I still have work to do, mostly in qualifying, but the race pace and management has been on a nice upwards trend.
Now we head to Barcelona, where we tested way back in February. The aim is to put into practice what we have learned since then and continue this momentum.
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