American Grand Prix: Downton’s Race Review
Having done no practice and actually having done very few laps on this circuit on a whole, I wasn’t exactly excited ahead of this race. I went out initially on Primes but had no idea @JamieFranklinF1 was behind me until I received a tap halfway through the first sector. I’m so sorry about this dude, it wasn’t my intention at all to ruin your lap, I genuinely had no idea you were, there were no indicators or anything. Thankfully you didn’t get a penalty and got a clean lap later. Stuffed up my lap on Primes so pitted for Options. Got a clean but fairly reserved first lap and only managed 5th, which was lap demoted to 6th. I was improving on my second run by about 8 tenths but ran wide at turn bloody 19.
Got a cracking start and was into 4th before turn 1. Broke early for turn 1 but didn’t turn as much as I wanted to because I had @sato113 on my inside. It was at this point I realised I was going to hit @shaneb12345678910. I pushed down as hard as possible on the brake and managed to just get away with tapping Shane slightly, which thankfully he also saved. Really sorry about this by the way mate, hope it didn’t cost you too much. Plodded along in third for a bit until I realised I could do the same pace as Theo. So I turned the wick up and tried to catch him, only for him now to start pulling away. Around lap 6 or 7 I was caught by the two Ferrari’s and after the twisty section as the start of one of the laps I decided to let Shane through to try and make up for the love tap at turn 1. Unfortunately I realised my mistake too late, I’d done it just before the DRS detection. So, I used DRS down the back straight but backed out and braked early so I wouldn’t re-pass Shane. He then run wide however (anticipating me overtaking on the inside however?) So I had to half make a move. We then went side by side through turn 13 & 14 and while Shane took the ‘racing wide line’ into turn 15 I took a nice tight line and nicked the apex of the corner, forcing him wide and taking the place back. We had a battle for a lap or so until I span on the exit of turn 14. I stood on the brakes and counter-steered (As you do in a spin) but couldn’t avoid spinning into Shane’s path. He tapped me and turned me right round (Thank you!) so I will definitely remove the penalty :). He then ran wide on the exit of turn 15 (to give me the position back?) and David – who’d snuck through in the chaos too – was slow exiting the corner as well. So I squeezed through between them back up into 3rd, only to spin off through the twisty section at the start of the next lap, losing twleve seconds. Pitted for Primes and when I came back out the car had so much grip. For the first ever time on this circuit I had confidence and started to catch @david-a. Closed the gap to 7 seconds but then he started managing it. I had 21 seconds back to @pezlo2013 so was considering just stopping on lap 18 for a fresh set of Options to see if I could do anything, but then Harry crashed and brought out the Safety Car so we all pitted. The restart came very very late (two thirds of the way up the pit straight?) and I set about chasing David. I eventually got past and set about catching Jamie, Theo and Shane. I began to catch but then they began pulling away a couple of seconds a lap, so I settled down in fourth.
Overall, I think this was a truly fantastic race for our league. We were all so evenly matched and had great battles where we didn’t come together (in general). A huge congratulations to everyone and a thank you for an amazing race.
Driver of the day has to be Shane. To come back from that shocking first lap to finish on the podium on a day when we were all so close was brilliant.