Friday Practice Day Round 1 Estoril

Today the Euroformula Open Championship officially commenced with Friday practice consisting of two 55 minute sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

As there are a limited number of tyres which can be used across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were only going to be able to use 1 set of new slicks for both of the two practice sessions. The first session started on a wet track which was drying, so we went out early on a used set of wets. I was happy with my pace in these conditions, spending of good most of this first phase up around the top (including at the top) of the timesheets. The track was drying quite quickly, so mid session we came in for our new set of slicks.

Ordinarily we would have waited a little longer before heading out to use the new tyres at their best at the end of the session, however the weather was very unpredictable. Given we were caught out by the rain yesterday, the team made a really good call to send me out a little early which enabled me to set some really good lap times as the track continued to dry. With 5 mins to go I was sitting on top for the session, however as it didn’t rain in the end a few who went out later leap frogged me in the dying minutes of the session meaning I finished the session 6th fastest. This was a really pleasing result as we continue to find gains in different parts of the circuit.

The downside was these tyres now had 15 laps of hard pushing on them for the afternoon session which was completely dry, so we focused on a full race run scenario, and refining some technical aspects of my driving which I have been working on with Tom. The tyres were quite beyond their best, but other than a minor spin in the middle of the run this went well with the highlight being a gain of 6 tenths in just the first sector which had been one of our focuses.

Qualifying 1 is first up in the morning, so very much looking forward to that after a good nights rest!

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