Once again, Round 4 was being hosted at Yas Marina Circuit but this time, we were using the GP track! It is essentially the same layout used in F1. With the weather said to be clear and my experience being ahead of most other drivers, I was already in a good state of mind.
Already by the first practice session, my competitors were as fast as me or faster which came by surprise. But one thing I realized, later on, was that the general competition level was much higher as we were constantly setting new lap records. Eventually, after the last session, I came to notice that I wasn’t in the front-running spots but in contention for the top 5. Although this was a bit disheartening, it was really close which meant that anyone could take the top spot.
Jumping into qualifying after official practice number 3, I knew it had to be a good one, as there were 12 cars on the grid. If it wasn’t good, I would suffer catching up in every race. Again, classic Lucas, it took me over half the session to get into my rhythm, but by the time I did I was within the top 5 spots. Up to the chequered flag, I was constantly improving but frankly didn’t have time to give it my all which meant that I would finish in a solid 4th position.
After getting off to a good start I stayed in P4 for half the lap, right behind Schumacher. But after he defended I was forced to go around the outside in corner 8 and had a narrow run into 9. But on the exit, I completely spun around which costed me 20 seconds and 8 positions (essentially last). Although feeling a bit distraught, I continued through the 30-minute race and worked myself up in positions with some help from penalties plus crashes. At the end of the race, this put me in 7th position, only 3 places behind my initial position.
Unlucky, if I were only 1 place higher I would have started pole. But since I finished 7th, the reverse grid had no effect on me. As the lights went off for the second time, I maintained my position and even started to attack Weertz, but he managed to fend me off. Eventually, I caught up to Lucas Roy and overtook him for 6th position. A few laps later, I passed Beckhauser too! But to my surprise, on the last few laps, my teammate Taofik ran out of fuel which promoted me to 4th.
Race 3s start was based on our second best lap times, which kept me in 4th place for the start. Maintaining the position for half of lap one, I was shunted by C0rdeel (T7) which damaged my steering which caused me to have a 50-meter lockup the next corner. With this huge block with no rubber (down to metal) rotating on my front left, I was forced to suffer for the rest of the race. Constantly being 3 seconds off the leader I dropped to 6th but stayed in that spot for the latter half of the race.
Again being affected by the reverse grid, I was going to start first for the final night race. Off the line, I was neck and neck with Schumacher but maintained my lead until corner 8. Halfway around the corner I was collected by my teammate Taofik and suffered a puncture. This meant that after stopping I was 2 laps down and still with minor damages. As expected I finished last but still collected points, which is crucial for the championship.
Although it was an up and down weekend and also due to my lack of speed I remain hopeful that more great things will come!