17.01.21 NL Blog
2020 in review, part 4: What’s next...?
“I’ve had a few tricky races this year, as you’d expect in a rookie season, but no doubt this was a very, very difficult one.
All weekend it has been hard to get a good feeling behind the wheel – and it was the same in today’s race.
Tyres were a big factor because they have to be within a specific temperature range to work properly. These cars have so much power and downforce that when you find the optimum window the performance is incredible. But in the conditions we had this weekend, you’re really on a knife-edge.
If the tyre temperature moves outside of the sweet spot, then you simply don’t have grip and the car is extremely difficult to control. And in these cold and wet conditions I’m talking about missing seconds of lap time, not just tenths.
As well as the weather, the newly resurfaced track was an extra hurdle. I’ve driven on ice before and I can honestly say that in a rally car on winter tyres I had more grip than I had this weekend. It’s certainly been a unique experience and in a way I’m happy to have had it. It was like a drifting session in a Formula One car, and probably the closest I’ll get to driving one on ice.
Ultimately of course for me and the team the outcome of the race was frustrating. Okay, it’s unlikely we will have another weekend like this – especially not at the next events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi – but we’ll look in detail at what we can learn and where we can improve.
At some point in the future there will be a situation where we can use what we’ve learned this weekend, and on that occasion it might be the difference between a grid position or a point. They say no experience is wasted, so it’s important we try and take as much as we can from this weekend.”
Get free exclusive newsletter updates, behind the scenes videos, images and loads more!