08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
Prep for Hungary included reviewing what we learned during my first race with the aero upgrade package in France last weekend. As you can expect, without a full race distance some things are not yet 100 percent optimised with the car and how I can get the most out of it.
So, coming into this weekend, one of my goals is to build on that. I want to understand how I can get more from the car and also from myself. There are definitely some adjustments needed to my driving to manage the different handling characteristics; understanding how best to exploit the extra downforce, for instance. It’s not a completely different set up philosophy, more a case of fine-tuning.
I’m keeping an open mind about what Hungary can deliver. Last year, in terms of relative pace, it wasn’t a good track for us. But if we can replicate the sort of performance step we made at Paul Ricard, I see no reason why we can’t fight our way into Q2 again.
You never know what will happen in the race, but I’m not pinning my hopes on a repeat of the circumstances that helped me secure P7 last season. The Hungaroring has been one of the stronger tracks for me since being with Williams, so I’m looking forward to that. It’s also going to be good to continue learning the upgrade in the same latest-spec car as my teammate.
The weather forecast looks interesting, and the likelihood of rain on Saturday could be an advantage for us. There looks to be less chance of rain on Sunday, but with overtaking so hard at this track, if the weather is a little bit off on Saturday we’ll definitely be looking to take advantage of that.
Hungary of course is the last race before the summer break, and like the final round of the year you always want to finish it positively. Even though the race didn’t go my way in France, I was encouraged that the pace and performance was there.
I’m hoping to leave Hungary having made another step forward, so we can go into the break with optimism that we can progress further during the second half of the year.
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