Friday at Hockenheim was Free Practice day with 3 sessions in fine and warm weather. This circuit is fantastic, another famous Formula 1 venue and is quite a different challenge. It is my first time here, and there is an unusual mix of high speed straights, but combined with twisty sections, so really enjoyable to drive and makes for good overtaking opportunities.
Across the day on Friday I was learning the track so no benefit in using any new rubber which we had. By the last session I was feeling very comfortable.
Qualifying went well, and my P12 position did not fully reflect this given how close times were across the field. Less than a second covered the entire top 14 drivers. So whilst we are expecting even more tomorrow, we were reasonably pleased with our time for the session and gains from Friday.
Starting from P12 in the race I got away OK, and battled well in the opening laps to force my way up into the top 10 with a handy gap behind to keep pushing ahead.
Off the line I was hit firmly on the right front by another driver trying to force me wide into turn 1. I had to hold my line as there was another car to my left. Unfortunately the impact damaged my rim, and whilst pushing forward into the top 10 my tyre gave way with a puncture.
As a result I needed to limp back to the pits, change the right front and rejoin, but a lap down due to the stop.
Disappointing after yet another good start to a race, but completely beyond my control. So, all focus on tomorrow and feeling confident with the circuit to push forward and challenge up the front.