Time for a full report, I guess:
Got a good start off the line, passing Oli into turn 1. To my delight, Bradley had made his way to second, giving us a Williams 1-2. My pace was much better than I had expected, as I built a nice gap to Bradley across the first lap, only for him to make a mistake into the final corner (I think), gifting Luke second.
I built a gap to Luke, to something like 7-8 seconds, with Oli another 2-3 behind him. Thankfully, Oli wasn’t closing in as fast as I thought he might. That was until the SC was brought out. I pitted for options, hoping to catch the rain at the end of this stint.
I couldn’t build a gap as quickly as in the first stint, enabling Luke to get DRS on me, which then turned into me being hit off, allowing Oli through as well. The three of us continued battling, until Oli made a mistake into the hairpin, braking too late (Though in hindsight, I may have nudged him slightly), enabling me to get through on the inside, but then he caught me in the traction zone, slamming the front of my car into the wall, and damaging my front wing. This put me down to third.
My pace was far worse now, with a damaged wing and worn tyres, so I pitted early for inters on lap 16. They weren’t great straight away, but it did allow me to leap frog Luke. At the end of lap 18, I pitted for wets. I wasn’t sure about this call, but it definitely seemed to be the right one, taking a lot out of Oli’s lead, and going from being 14 seconds down, to being just behind him as he exited the pits. I was able to pass immediately, and looking back, he didn’t have a front wing…excellent.
…Well, not so much, as the game was clearly messing with me. Oli still had plenty of downforce. The SC came back out again, and I decided to check the Race Director to see where everyone was. Unbeknown to me, this allowed Oli into first…yeah, great one Codemasters.
Was close-ish to Oli at the restart, until Bradley piled into the back of me, meaning I had no front wing. So then I had to pit and chase down the pack. It took me a while, but on lap 29, I finally caught Shyguy and Theo, but then one of them took me out just before the hairpin. If that wasn’t enough, whilst they were battling, I caught them again on the same lap, and low and behold, I was taken out again. This time, however, I was stuck between turns 18 and 19, and how to reverse and go a few times before I could actually get out.
Now in a blind rage, I was 40 seconds behind Theo, and missed the opportunity to get on inters for lap 30, instead pitting on the final lap. Managed to get 4th, but in a race where I was only slightly slower than Oli, if not equal, it’s not much consolation, especially given that I made all the right calls when it came to tyres. Should have been first or second today.