08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
The wet weather created a lot of excitement going into today’s race, and I knew it would give me a better chance of making up positions.
The fact that one of the Red Bulls went off heading to the grid showed just how difficult conditions were.
It’s a long run down to Turn 1 at the Hungaroring – one of the longest of the season – so it’s a circuit where you want to get a good start, and that’s exactly what I got. At the first two races I didn’t make such a great getaway, so I guess it was a case of third time lucky!
I got as high as P10 but the Intermediate tyres degraded quickly and I needed to pit for slicks. Unfortunately that’s where my race unravelled.
I thought I was pulling into a clear lane when I got the green light and was released from my pit box, instead I got a tap from behind and a puncture, which caused a spin at Turn 1.
Bringing the car back to the pits I could feel the tyre wanted to unravel, so I had to crawl back as slowly as possible to prevent it causing too much damage to the car. But even driving carefully the floor took a big hit.
After that it was just a case of trying to get more experience, but that was a challenge as I was missing a huge amount of downforce because of the floor damage. This is a track where you rely on downforce, and as the track got quicker and quicker it just amplified the problem. Not a great situation, but still valuable experience.
Overall an unfortunate result, but I had a good track position, and it would have been interesting to see what was possible if the circumstances had been more favourable. It wasn’t to be this time, but there are positives to take from the weekend, and lessons we can apply at the next round at Silverstone.”
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