Belgian Grand Prix
I feel positive after Spa, but a bit disappointed as well. I did climb from last row on the grid, I fought with Mercedes drivers and successfully attack them – but finally it turned out to be in vain after weather tricks. It is upset, when you don’t get the result you able to.
On Friday we learnt and setup F-duct and did very little mileage, just left the pits and immediately returned after one lap and then again. Fortunately our engineers established it work really fast, within practices time, despite it was raining. I would like to praise the work of our guys at factory and on track, who developed F-duct and work with it in garage – system really works and make our car significantly faster.
I easily get used to F-duct, the only moment was you have to keep steering wheel with only one hand at some turns. It is more demanded from physical side – I managed it, but there was some slight pain in my right hand afterwards. I didn’t need to change my driving style – car’s behavior was the same but for increased straightline speed.
In Spa it is really important to use all possible width of the track. You have to touch kerbs rather deeply to set a good laptime. At the beginning of the Q1 I just wanted to check kerbs in turn 9. I drove with care, it was my out lap, but I didn’t expect it was so wet. I spun, silly mistake. Engine worked, but it was impossible to move from wet grass, also a bit uphill. I tried several times, and then engineer said I have to stop the engine.
I gained three or four positions away from the start, and maybe could overtake even more cars on the way to first turn, but clutch setup was not ideal. I tried to exclude any risk in La Source hairpin, because race didn’t finish there, and then overtook some more cars during first lap.
After the restart I found a way pass Nico Rosberg – my exit from first turn was really good and I drove flat through Eau Rouge. He was waiting for my attack, looking at mirrors all time. We were really close to each other at turn 5, I was already ahead and moved from a line a little to avoid contact.
Later it was weather’s turn. We expected a rain not far from finish – according to our radar it should be slight and short just like on first laps. That time we took risk and remained on slicks, which was completely right decision. But in second case forecast was not so accurate – it was long and moderate rain. We calculated after the race that I had strong chance to finish 6th, but weather decided it in other way and didn’t give me twice more reasons for gladness.
Now it’s a time to go to Monza, the track where it all about engine power. I don’t think it will be easy week-end for us, at fast Italian circuit it will be crucial to find proper aero setup. And, as obvious, no prognosis from myself.