08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
Coming into this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it’s a strange feeling for me.
It’s my last race with the team I’ve driven for since 2020 and had an official role with for the last four years. Also, this could potentially be my last-ever race in Formula One.
There’s definitely some sadness and disappointment to know things are coming to an end, but also a huge feeling of gratitude to have been in the position I have and to have raced in F1 for three seasons. It’s been the best journey and one I’m proud of.
There’s been some great memories along the way and quite a few more difficult moments for sure. But that’s the nature of motorsport and, as a driver, that’s what you sign up to – regardless of the category you’re racing in.
It’s been tough knowing that as a team you’re not able to fight for points all the time, because that’s the expectation of all the teams and drivers on the grid. But I’ll park that frustration at the circuit gates as I leave after the race on Sunday afternoon. Instead, I’ll take away the memories of the good moments and the strong relationships and bonds that have been formed along the way. I know those friendships will continue a long, long way into the future.
On the track, I’m sitting out FP1 again for Logan (Sargeant), like I did in Austin. But I don’t think missing that piece of track time will be as big an issue in Abu Dhabi as it was in the States. This track is one of the less representative FP1s we do during the season because that session takes place during the day on a hot and very green circuit, whereas we qualify and race at night under completely different track conditions.
As this is the final race, there’s still the motivation to finish as strongly as possible. The mind-set is to try and achieve the best result I can and to get the absolute best out of myself and the rest of the team. But I also want to enjoy the weekend and not sweat some of the stuff that can be frustrating at times.
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