Round 3 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship was held at the Hungaroring as part of the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The circuit looked amazing. One thing that is really great about this year is that arriving at the circuits they are looking at their absolute best. Even though I have raced there twice before, it didn’t look quite so good with all the lines painted brand new, and all the signage in place. Of course the circuits have always been in perfect condition for racing, but when it’s a Grand Prix they look extra sharp!
We were all expecting that it would be very warm for the weekend, however that was far from the case with rain in the air most of the time. The Friday practice session was slightly damp, but we ended up running the whole session on slick tyres. Straight away I felt really comfortable with the car and we finished the session P16, but even then I was on two purple sectors in one of my final laps before coming on a clump of cars around the last corner slowing to position themselves for their lap. So from the start I felt the pace was good.
Qualifying was interesting with a wet track which basically stayed wet for the whole session with consistent drizzle. I was feeling great with the car and after putting in a late lap time to be on P2 for a while, finished the session in P5 which was a fantastic result! From here I knew that I could challenge for a podium finish and be in a great position for two points finishes over the weekend.
Unfortunately the race did not go to plan, well it did on my part, but as can happen, I was caught by the mistakes of others.
After getting away to a really good start, one of the Prema drivers made a big error into turn 1 taking out the leader in front of me. Having avoided this by moving to the inside of the sideways car in front of me, another one of the Prema drivers made contact on the inside of an MP car, which in turn just caught my inside rear wheel. It looked like a light touch, but in fact it was enough to break a hole in the rim. As I had just got on the power, and the conditions were very greasy, the contact spun me sideways in front of the field and my race ended there with further contact in the side causing significant damage.
Of course I was disappointed, but there is nothing you can do about this, so by the time I was back to the team in pitlane we moved on, and started to focus on Race 2 with the now huge challenge of having to start from the rear of the 30 car grid based on the Race 1 DNF!
Race 2 was again wet, and these are conditions which I have very much been enjoying. After a good start and gaining an early position in the opening lap, I was really pleased to make up 14 positions over the 22 lap race, and finish in P15 after a P29 start. In the middle period of the race in particular we had really good pace, and I was making up a position and sometimes two per lap on a circuit where overtaking is very difficult, so this was a really exciting race.
So overall it was far from the result which I know I deserved, however in terms of everything which was in my control, it was another really good performance and I take a great deal of confidence into the coming rounds knowing that we have very competitive pace.
Thanks to everyone at home who sent so many messages of support again, and of course to all of my investors and Lazersafe and all of my incredible sponsors. A huge thank you to the team at Jenzer Motorsport for the great car, and the very hard work to make the repairs required between Race 1 and Race 2 and have everything perfect and ready to go by early the next morning.
On the way back from Budapest to Switzerland, we took the chance to visit a village in Austria called See to have a couple of days training with a difference away from the race track. We did some incredible mountain climbing, and with the elevation and altitude it really was excellent fitness work, and the views need to be seen to be believed!
Now we are back in Switzerland and are full steam into our preparations for Silverstone next week.
I can’t wait!
Thanks for the support,