08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
For me, Austin is always one of the more exciting events on the calendar. With the ever-growing popularity of F1 in the USA, it’s one of the events you look forward to as a driver. It has a great atmosphere, with huge numbers of fans, and we have the added bonus of being able to stay in the city because it’s so close to the track. And as a race that’s in North America, this is a weekend that always have a homely feel about it – despite Texas not being where I’m from!
Track wise, it’s one of the cooler circuit layouts. I know they’ve made some changes in terms of resurfacing the track, because it was always quite shocking how bumpy it was – especially last year. And obviously with this year’s cars, I think it would be even worse and not pleasant at all. But I think they’ve managed to address some of that which is a positive.
Beyond that, this is the first weekend where I’ll be sitting out for an FP1 session. Obviously, the team needs to give up two FP1 sessions a year for the young drivers, Alex did one in Barcelona, so I’m making way for Logan [Sargeant] here which is going to bring about a different flow to my weekend. Sitting around a bit on Friday morning and then jumping in the car for FP2 in the afternoon will be a strange experience but I think there’s quite a few other drivers doing the same.
Then we have a different format to FP2 because the teams are doing some tyre testing in a session that’s lasting 90 minutes. It’s going to be an elongated practice session in that regard. On the one hand that’s good because I’ll have more track time to get back up to speed, but on the other hand I’ll be driving on tyres that we’re not actually racing on. We’ll have to see what that situation brings.
Beyond that, this weekend obviously edges us another step closer to the end of the season with only four races left. So, the focus remains on ending my season and time with the team on as high a note as possible. Obviously, scoring points in Japan was a nice morale boost for everyone so I’m hoping to carry some positive momentum from that into this weekend.
All times local
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