“My whole weekend in Budapest was really good, making me feel all the things I missed, like the adrenalin and being on the starting grid, those emotions are really powerful. I felt our pace wasn’t bad and there was maybe even a chance of points if I hadn’t had to start again from the back after being hit on the first lap. It was good the car wasn’t damaged, so I was able to do the 70 laps and I felt physically fine at the end of it. There were a lot of things to be happy about. I made a few little mistakes in the race, but by the last stint I was really consistent and I don’t think I could have asked for anything more from my first weekend back.
“I’m happy to have a back-to-back and go to Spa now. I think it was a solid start and it will be good to jump straight back in the car after just a couple of days, as it will keep the ball rolling. It should fast-track my learning and my improvement. That’s the plan, to keep chipping away at it.
“I think Spa is always a challenge, the circuit itself is one of the best and the weather is always a factor, but I will deal with it with confidence, after how things went in Hungary. I want to be optimistic about it, but also I have to stay grounded, as there are still a lot of things to learn. It’s a Sprint format, which means it will be a pretty busy time, with just one practice session and then straight into qualifying. I plan to log a lot more laps, have some fun, and try to get in the points on Sunday.”
“In Hungary, there were a few positive signs that we have made some progress with our car, but I didn’t make the most of that over the weekend, and apart from making up a lot of places at the start, it wasn’t a great race for me. I think the team learned something from it, so it’s good that we go racing again immediately.
“Like everyone, I really like Spa, and with the car we have right now, the main challenge will be finding a set-up that gives us the best possible straight-line speed and as much downforce as possible for the high-speed corners. We also have to factor in that it’s a Sprint weekend, but I’m looking forward to that because I really enjoy qualifying at every track, and to do two qualifying sessions in one weekend at a brilliant track like Spa, is quite special. Each track has a different type of excitement during qualifying, and at Spa, it’s definitely a high-speed rollercoaster buzz.
“It’s impossible to go to Spa without thinking of the terrible fatal accident that happened a few weeks ago, and it’s only been four years since the previous fatality in a race there. My thoughts are with their families and friends.
“After this weekend comes the summer break, which is important for all the team members who work so hard, and it will also be a chance to reset and come back stronger for the last ten races of the year.”