27th May 2012
Right, so things haven’t gone to plan, that’s for sure. I’ve realised that racing is a game of small margins – one small half tenth here and there could make the difference between winning and losing.
I’ve just come back from rounds 5 and 6 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Germany, at the Nurburgring. Once again funding proved to be touch and go but we managed to raise the sponsorship to be on the grid.
I didn’t know the circuit as I’d never raced there before. However, I acclimatised myself as quickly as possible in the two 30 minutes sessions on Friday.
The weekend didn’t quite fall my way. Nothing quite clicked and I had to be content with starting 10th in both races. I got really unlucky with traffic in both qualifying sessions despite having the pace to be in the top 3. But anyway, 10th was to be my starting position.
I focused on nailing the starts. In the first race I made a good getaway and was right up to 8th place. I started to settle into my rhythm when a competitor ahead appeared to lose control of his car. As I looked up and into the corner, I started to brace myself to try and avoid him and as I did this, I lost control of my own car. It was a clear mistake on my behalf – a classic case of taking your eye off the ball so to speak.
My car spun to a halt and I fell to the back of the grid. I did manage to climb up to 13th by the end with tyres were as worn as a homeless man’s shoes. Tyre management on these tyres in a 40 minute race is bad enough, so to have a spin on them early on in the race is like putting a sharp knife into them and twisting that knife every lap. My grip levels were poor from there on in.
It’s amazing how something so small can disrupt the concentration. Of course I’ve learned from it and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. But just to look up and see somebody twitch was enough for me to lose control. So like I said, the margins are small.
For race two, I again was 10th on the grid again. However I had made a strong start, and by lap 4 I had made some really good moves to climb to 7th. Unfortunately that was about all I could do. I had a late go for 6th place, but couldn’t quite get it. Overtaking in single seaters is tough – so what’s the solution? To start higher up on the grid in qualifying!
7th and 13th were my two results. This though doesn’t tell the true story. The whole weekend was very positive: I had two very good starts and the potential for a great weekend was there, but luck and timing was not on my side.
Nonetheless, my pace in the race would have put me in the top 4 and I was content with how I managed my tyres. For the first time, I feel confident that with another crack at the whip; another shot at it and I’ll be up there. If luck and timing are on my side, I’ll be there.
I abide by the philosophy is that if you keep working and keep trying, eventually it will come good. It’s like a numbers game, the more you try, the more chance you have of being successful. So I’m going to keep on going.
After all, it’s hard to beat somebody who never gives up…
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