Round 3 – Silverstone GP
Leading up to the race weekend, I and the Carlin team had completed several test days at Silverstone. Therefore I was not too worried about learning many new things in this large circuit. The Thursday test day consisted of multiple 45-minute sessions which were utilized to their entirety. At the end of the first day, I saw myself in the mid-pack but had the potential to be higher up the order. As the rainy second day had completed, I found myself relearning the track in order to maximize lap time. And since it was going to rain for Qualifying, everyone knew that the fastest drivers will be those who take the greatest risks.
Because rain poured down onto the tarmac, a lot of standing water was found. Therefore it was crucial that we follow the drying wheel tracks when on track. The mindset Mike and I had was to go out and do as many laps as possible, as I would continuously improve along with the track. So as soon as the green flag was waved, I started on my warmup. My mindset coming into this session was to treat it as it was practice, which relaxed my nerves.
By the end of the session, I finished in 9th, just beaten for 8th as the other car did an extra lap in the drying conditions.
The track for Race 1 was half wet and drying up fast as the sun was out. As drivers, we knew that the faster we adapted the faster we would be. Therefore, from the warmup lap, we were all searching for the grip. When the lights went out I had a mediocre start and took it safely into the first corner. From that, I lost 1 position and was quickly attacked by those in my slipstream. Eventually, I would lose a number of positions but claw back a few more, placing me in 11th place.
Race 2, being the reverse grid race, showed promise in my eyes as I could potentially make a break for a podium position. But that dream was cut short when after the first lap I went from 8th to 10th, and shortly after to 11th after my teammate passed me. Although the pace was good, it was apparent that I had to improve my start-of-the-race race craft.
Race 3 was similar to Race 2, but this time it seemed like I had more fight in me. Off the line and into the first few laps I hadn’t lost any positions until a group of six cars from 5th all the way to where I was 9th and onwards. Because of this, my strong suit of having fast pace was halted, and I had to battle my way for position. Through some bad decision-making, I lost one place and for the majority of the race, I was battling with this one car. After many failed attempts, I went up the inside into Stowe and collided with Nazim. This collision ruined my race as I had to limp the car over the line with a sideways steering wheel. The collision was later pronounced as Nazim’s fault. Although instances like these do occur in racing, it was somewhat the cherry on top of the cake, being this mediocre race weekend.