I’ve had a good pre-season test today. Happen to be starting my 2nd season on my career, with Ferrari.
Have upped the driver difficulty to Expert.
Qualified 10th on Prime tyres, with a late 1:24 time – could tell I wasn’t going to touch the guys times on the softs, so thought I’d go counter strategy.
Come race day, I went for a 50% race distance, 29 laps around Melbourne Park…
I got a good clean start, and was up to 6th after turn 1 and 2, and then up to 4th through turn 3 – with no contact (have full damage on, so that’s key!)….
Then ultimately, had a reasonably quiet race, pulling away from Di Resta behind me, and not able to catch Hamilton, Vettel or Webber up front.
However, I stayed out on my primes, whilst the others stops and was in the lead. Tyres started to drop at about lap 10, and I pitted at the end of lap 11, a lap earlier than planned.
Came out in 3rd! Started to lap consistently in 1:26s, which was matching race pace. Pitted again at the end of lap 22, from the lead, but with Vettel all over me (having a pit stop in his pocket).
Went to to the options for the last 7 laps of the race, and I had some good pace, done in the mid 1:24s, and was only a few hundredth’s off of the pace.
Spent the final stint in 3rd place, but holding off the flying Red Bull of Webber, successfully in the end to get the podium.
I know that some of the guys here are a lot quicker than the Experts, but I reckon if I can match that pace tomorrow then I reckon a top 6 or 7 is on the cards.
Roll on 8.20pm tomorrow.