Almost perfect Weekend!
We had an unexpected tough start into this weekend at Brands Hatch. In free practice I had problems to match the speed of the front runners and it took me a little while to get used to the Brands GP circuit as this was once again my first time at this track. But I was confident to sort the problems together with my Carlin team and my engineer in time for qualifying.
The first qualifying was exactly the turnaround of form we had planned. Dark clouds and many red flags interrupted the session. This gave the session a lot of excitement as it was always important to go out and push from the first lap as there was always the threat of rain. I was able to set the fastest time midway through the session, however unfortunately Mike Conway was able to go just a little bit faster during the last minutes. The second qualifying started on a slightly damp track which proved to be drying out again. Once again the session was interrupted by red flags and the threat of rain was ever so big. We confirmed our grid position from the first race and once again qualified 2nd on the grid. Overall I was very pleased with my qualifyings and I was very confident for the races.
I made a good start to race 1, but it was not enough to pass Mike Conway, so I tried to put as much pressure as I could on the leader. Unfortunately the nature of the track made it very difficult to stay close to the car ahead as the Brands GP circuit consists of nine corners, six of them are over 180 km/h fast, followed by short straights. Over the whole race I pushed hard to push Mike into a mistake but he did'nt do me any favours and I settled for second place. I still managed to get the fastest lap which was a little comfort.
My Start to race 2 was even better than the 1st I was able to pull up next to Oliver into turn 1 however he had the inside line which gave me no choice but to back off. From this Moment the second race was a copy from the first. Again I tried to stay close to the leader in order to be able to benefit from any mistakes but once again the leader didn't make a mistake and I finished second again.
Overall I'm very satisfied with my weekend at Brands Hatch. Two second places and the fastest lap of the weekend are a nearly perfect result. In both races I believe I was faster as the race winners, but didn't find a way to pass. I'm sure I'm not the first person to be caught out by this problem at Brands Hatch.
I really want to thank my team Carlin Motorsport and my engineer Matt Callaghan as they have given me a superb car this weekend. I am very happy for the team that Oliver and myself were able to get a 1 2 in the second race, everyone has worked hard for this and they have really deserved it. This should give everyone within the team the right motivation for the end of the season where the fight for runner up in the championship is coming on. I'm fully motivated and looking forward to the fight between Oliver, Bruno and myself.