08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
There’s been a lot to discover at Portimao this week, and my first opportunity to sample the track came on Wednesday when I put on my trainers and ran a lap.
The steep uphill sections were as tough as I had expected, and the downhills don’t offer much chance of recovery. It’s so steep you have to be careful not to hurt your knees or let the momentum get the better of you!
Driving the track should have been more fun than running it, but that wasn’t necessarily the case on Friday when I tested a few new things on the car.
The guys made changes for Saturday and they gave me much more confidence. The grip improved and generally the car felt much better.
My first push lap in FP3 was quicker than anything I had managed on Friday, but I was still trying to get my references and playing catch-up a bit on this new and technical circuit.
I was optimistic heading into qualifying but unfortunately I didn’t manage any clean laps.
My first push lap felt good but it got deleted for track limits at Turn 1. It was a marginal thing, and they don’t use the timing loops here, so it’s not black and white, but the stewards scrubbed it off.
The wind then picked up and that always affects the car – putting it just on the wrong side of what felt comfortable. I should have been closer to George, and maybe in Q2, so that was a frustration.
The positive, of course, is that the car felt so much better today, and I’m hoping that will lead to a more competitive story in the race. I’m looking forward to finding out!
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