After a dramatic qualification on Friday, I was ready to gain positions in Race 1 today. The weather was sunny and pretty hot, and most people around me were a bit nervous. We had decided to try an opposite pit stop strategy from what lead us to victory in Budapest a few weeks ago. In Budapest we took a very late pit stop, but this time we concluded that it possibly could be a beneficial move to take a very early pit stop for this particular race.
And it was! I started off in P5 on the start grid, and in the first lap in the first corners I got side by side with Guerin, with me on the outside of Guerin. This was a fight for P4, but he had the advantage on the inside. Eventually I dropped to P6 in the first lap, and the top 6 was driving hard and close with Quaife-Hobbs in the lead.
I was the first driver to make a pit stop, in lap 4. We made a smooth and effective, fast pit stop. Since I was the only driver to make a pit stop so early in the race, I was driving last and alone for several laps till somebody else took their pit stop. Then driver after driver took their pit stops, and everybody came out behind me, except Sirotkin, which got side by side, and in front of me through the first corner after his pit stop. He had colder tires, so I passed him after a few corners, and got some distance.
Quaife-Hobbs had a late pit stop strategy, and got right in front of me, but got some distance. Sirotkin got closer but I controlled a distance where he never got close enough to make a fight. I eventually ended up finishing in P2. A result I am happy with.
I was driving clean and fast, we got a good pit stop, and together with my team Virtuosi UK, we made a good race strategy and performed this strategy very well. Very nice job guys!
Race 1 was a strategic, clean, fast and good race.
Tomorrow, on Sunday, I will start on P7. I had a good pace today, and have a good feeling. It will be #Vikinghorns in action.