08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
So, that’s my third F1 race in Italy wrapped up, and the third P11 of my rookie season.
I didn’t get off to a great start, and with Imola being a very narrow track, there weren’t many opportunities to make up positions without taking big risks.
The opening laps were tricky, but after the initial phase the race started to come to me. I adjusted my driving and made a few set-up changes that helped the car’s performance.
I managed to extend the first stint by quite a bit – which was a good surprise – and ran as high as P6 as others came into the pits.
After the pit stop I didn’t quite have the advantage I hoped for, but there were still opportunities and Giovinazzi was my target. I had the quicker car but in the dirty air I couldn’t get close enough.
The Safety Car gave me another chance but the restart was difficult on colder tyres and brakes. Giovinazzi made a mistake late on, but it wasn’t quite enough unfortunately.
So, that’s three races where I have been very, very close to a points-paying position and it hasn’t quite happened.
Okay, in some ways that’s disappointing, but it shows the progress we’ve made as a team and I think it was a strong race performance in light of the problems in practice.
I can leave Imola feeling happy with the turnaround in performance, especially after the difficult weekend last time out in Portugal. Here’s hoping that improvement continues at the next round in Turkey.
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