Zuber storms to podium in Hungary The 14-turn 4,381km Hungaroring is one of the trickiest tracks on the calendar where the corners follow each other quickly and even the start-finish straight is relatively short. I was optimistic heading to...
Zuber storms to podium in Hungary
The 14-turn 4,381km Hungaroring is one of the trickiest tracks on the calendar where the corners follow each other quickly and even the start-finish straight is relatively short. I was optimistic heading to the Hungaroring for the fourth time in my career and remembering the good races I had here in the past two years. I also felt that the signs were good since my second place in the sprint race on the Hockenheimring. In addition I felt that my team, Piquet Sports, was able to compete with the best.
As early as first practice it looked like we had set an excellent pace with the third fastest time behind Petrov and Pantano in the first ten minutes of the session. As per last year, the track was very dirty so I had to work hard to find a good rhythm. I was pushing hard but also being careful not to go off in the twisty sections. Making the most of the new tyres, I ranked first in 1.28.797. I came back to the pits on lap 8 to finalise some of set up parameters. At this moment, my team mate had an accident at turn 8, but luckily did not hurt himself. I finished the session in front -- a good sign for qualifying. Right away, I was fastest in qualifying round with a lap of 1.30.564.
Lucas di Grassi, Pantano, Petrov, Asmer and Buemi went faster than me on the third lap. Then I stopped in the pits to fine tune the set up;on the sixth lap I came back to third fastest, 0.530s behind Di Grassi. But my luck did not last even if I had the best time in sector 1. There were four competitors with Karun Chadock, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean in the same half second behind Lucas di Grassi. There were only five minutes to go and I jumped to third place with a time of 1.28.140 before being pushed back to fourth place by Vitaly Petrov. At least I reached my goal to be in the top four. During the qualifying session, I had a lot of traffic but I made it happen.
In the first race I was hoping that I would not have a clutch problem like I had before. I had a super start and was leading in the first corner of the first lap for the 42-lap race. Di Grassi and Petrov passed me. I got back past Petrov on lap 5 and was second again in this long race with one pit stop planned. I was 1.8s behind Di Grassi and there was a growing gap from Petrov who was behind me. I completed my pit stop on lap 14 and it went very well. I was hoping to be able to push harder a bit later and I had a good pace. On lap 32, with ten laps to go, as I was only 0.9s behind di Grassi, and was waiting for any mistake from him while keeping him under pressure.
However, behind me, I could also see Bruno Senna closing. I tried until the end to take the lead from di Grassi, but did not make it. Nevertheless, I am really pleased to be on the podium and score eight points for a second place that puts me up in the championship with 32 points.
Starting from seventh place for the 28-lap second race, there was not much I could expect. My start was not fantastic. I had a quite an uneventful race struggling with oversteer and was not able to establish a good enough pace to make progress. I finished seventh in the end.
Our next race will be in Valencia on August 23. I have seen the track and it is beautiful, wide and fast at the same time. It should be a good mixture for another good result.