08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
“My first F1 at race at Spa was always going to be another learning experience, but it turned out to be extra tricky, unfortunately.
From the opening laps it felt like I had an imbalance on the car, which gave the handling a strange asymmetrical split. I had tons of oversteer through right-hand corners and understeer through the left-handers.
That made the car a real challenge to drive, especially early on in the dirty air, and I felt like I was just hanging on at the back. I got close to Kevin Magnussen at one stage but after that I was just dropping off.
The guys will strip down the car to see what they can find, but definitely something wasn’t right. It’s not an issue I have encountered before.
Despite this, the last stint was fun. I was going to do the one-stop strategy but I pushed to do two because I felt the handling was going to get worse and worse as the tyres deteriorated. On fresh tyres I was able to push flat out to the end, and I really had fun with the rears!
Overall then, I can’t be happy with the end result, but I wasn’t far off Romain Grosjean and two Ferraris, so there was still an element of positivity.
Above all, I know I’m improving with each session, and this weekend was another step forward. Okay, it was a struggle out there in the race, but at the same time I feel better off as a driver for having dealt with the issues I was facing and completing the whole grand prix.
It’s now on to Monza – a really high-speed track – and hopefully the setting for a stronger weekend.”
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