Sunny and warm conditions here at Silverstone again today as we entered the first day of competition with Qualifying and Race 1.
Even with only the one practice session yesterday not compromised through a car issue, I was feeling ready to go for Qualifying this morning. Our first run on the new set of tyres was OK, being considerably quicker than practice yesterday, though left me sitting mid field.
For the second half of the session on my second set of new tyres, I took advantage of the extra grip as the track improved which is a skill I have been looking to develop. Today this came together well and I was able to break into the top 5 for the first time in this Championship against international competition, and qualify P5, only a single 1000th of a second out of 4th. This was a great breakthrough, and I know the start of more to come.
In Race 1 I got away to a reasonable start off the line, though had a touch of wheelspin. I defended to the inside, but dropped a couple of places as drivers took the outside line around Copse and down the following straight. From there I drove a good first lap, defending hard on three successive corners.
I was then determined to drive aggressively, but in hindsight the tyres were not quite on yet, and I made a mistake dropping off the track momentarily, putting me back in 9th position.
For the final 11 laps I drove well matching the pace of the top 5 and recovered to be right on the back of 7th and 8th.
Whilst ultimately I wanted to finish higher in the race, massive steps forward today and I look forward to continuing to build on this tomorrow. A great job by all of the team today, the car was fantastic to drive and we know we have the pace to fight for a podium.
Thanks also for all the support from home, and to the many friends and family based in the UK who have made the drive up to watch this weekend.