CHALLENGING HUNGARIAN OUTING FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS Adrian Quaife-Hobbs was left disappointed with the results of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Hungaroring this weekend despite taking a race win. For the first time this season,...
CHALLENGING HUNGARIAN OUTING FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs was left disappointed with the results of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Hungaroring this weekend despite taking a race win. For the first time this season, the 17 year-old did not automatically qualify through the super pole process after set-up problems put him 16th quickest in the session.
The event, the third round of the series, had started well though for the BRDC Rising Star after posting the quickest lap, a second quicker than the opposition, in Friday's wet free practice. However as the track dried he slipped down the order and when the crucial 30 minute qualifying session got underway, the teenager was again unable to repeat the superb form in the dry.
After starting the qualification race from seventh, the former double T-Cars champion showed his form to pass three cars on the opening lap, moving into the lead on lap three. Thereafter he went on to record victory but there was no satisfaction for the Tonbridge racer.
"I don't take any satisfaction from that win as I really should not have been in the race at all," said Adrian. "It's the first time we've not gone through into the super pole and that is very disappointing. In the wet I was around a second quicker than the rest, which is a great advantage to have but in the dry we just couldn't reproduce that form."
In the first of the two championship races at the circuit which in three weeks time plays host to former Eurocup champion Lewis Hamilton at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, Adrian lined-up 24th and over the course of the 12 lap race made up ten places to finish 14th. "I think that result really was the best we could have hoped for after starting 24th. We'd made a few changes to the car in between qualifying and the qualification race which greatly improved the car.
"In the first points-scoring race, the car was great and the race pace was definitely there. In effect I made up a place every lap which is pretty good so I'm pleased with my own performance in the race."
In race two Adrian had the disadvantage of starting on older tyres, when his rivals were on newer ones. Despite that, the youngster made a superb start to make up several places before the completion of the opening lap.
After a brief safety car period midway through the race, Adrian was looking to continue his good progress but as he went to change up a gear, found himself going down a gear and allowing two cars to pass him.
Over the course of the remaining laps, understeer set in denying him the chance to progress any further and he had to settle for 19th at the flag.
"It's been a very disappointing weekend, I should always be in the superpole and you need to if you want to have any chance of taking points. We had a problem setting up the car in qualifying which left us playing catch-up over the rest of the weekend. Then in the second race I had the problem with the gear which dropped me down but then the understeer meant I just couldn't get close enough to the cars in front to overtake.
"So overall I'm not too happy, but I know I need to put it all behind me and look ahead to the next race. Hopefully we can recover the form and get ourselves into a position to be challenging for podium positions."
Adrian's next race will be in two weeks time at Misano in Italy for the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Cup following a test session at Monza this Thursday.