QUALIFICATIONS : NOT VERY GOOD ! Friday, 28 July 2006 - I arrived in Germany after a lot of intense training in France and I was still dreaming about my two podiums in the two races at Magny Cours a fortnight ago. I feared that it would...
QUALIFICATIONS : NOT VERY GOOD !
Friday, 28 July 2006 - I arrived in Germany after a lot of intense training in France and I was still dreaming about my two podiums in the two races at Magny Cours a fortnight ago.
I feared that it would be just as hot this weekend at Hockenheim and when I came to the track yesterday the temperature was very high. It was a nice surprise that the air temperature had dropped a little this morning, but it was still 27 degrees Centigrade. I clocked a reasonable time of 1.24.848 in the morning however both I and my team mate found the car quite difficult to drive.
There was a chance that rain could affect the afternoon session but fortunately the sun came out again and it was dry and hot. I did four laps at the start of the session but there were lots of yellow flags and I went back to the pits waiting for them to clear.
We worked carefully to improve the car and it's a bit disappointing I'm only tenth in the order but I'm not too worried about it at this stage because the car is coming good. I'll need a good start and have to be very focused. This session was one of the most difficult of the season and I was not expecting the weekend to unfold like this, but I'm confident we can continue to improve throughout the next two days.
RACE 1 : LUCKY TO FINISH DESPITE FASTEST LAP...
Saturday, 29 July 2006 : To finish 20th in the German Grand Prix after two podiums at my home Grand Prix is a real disappointment. It's all the more frustrating because I had the speed to win as I recorded the fastest lap.
It was a really hot afternoon and the start of the 40-lap race was quite frantic. Starting from tenth, I gained two positions but knew there would be some way to go.
Suddenly after six laps the car's handling felt very strange and I had to pit. I barely made it back to my garage but when I did my team checked all the systems and sensors. I lost a full lap and rejoined in nineteenth and after their efforts the car felt much better.
I tried to push hard to climb back up the order, but with being one lap down already there was little I could do even if I set the fastest lap on lap 36. It's disappointing but I'm now focused on race two tomorrow and making up for it.
RACE 2 : ACCIDENT STOPS ALEXANDRE IN HOCKENHEIM
Hockenheim - Sunday, 30 July 2006 - Alexandre Premat made a strong start from nineteenth on the grid in race two at Hockenheim. Premat's charge was put on hold when his ART Grand Prix car touched with Hiroki Yoshimoto and the two drivers were forced to retire on lap 9.
It was a very strong start. I climbed up two rows at the start and I was running competitively not far from Hiroki Yoshimoto. Our cars touched and we went off.
It's a real shame that the stewards decided to penalise me for the next race which will cost me ten places especially since they didn't do the same to Yoshimoto and only reprimanded him.
It's annoying but it makes me more determined than ever and I remember last year when I started last in Hungary and finished fourth in the first race and then went on to win race two.
So anything can happen and I will fight back next weekend.
Friendly, and see you soon !