I was fairly confident going into qualifying that I could get a decent grid slot, as my practice times had been pretty good. I went out on a high-ish fuel load to get some laps under my belt on the primes. My first lap was rendered useless after my DRS opened up randomly during a corner, which made me nervous in my laps after that, but I was still able to do a reasonably quick 1:29.0xx
I came back in and realised that I was off pole by 1 tenth and was debating whether or not to do a quick lap on the options to get pole. I eventually decided against it, even though my primes were badly worn, and tried again on the primes, but went over a second slower and ended up 3rd, 2 tenths off of Brooksy.
Again, I was confident going into the race, despite my worn primes, and I thought that my strategy was decent as well. Prime, option, option.
My start was brilliant, to the point that I had to sharply turn right to avoid slamming straight into the back of Brooksy. I got alongside him and overtook thanks to my good start and kers. However, I looked back and realised that I had enough room to move over slightly, but as I did so I felt a knock from behind and all of a sudden I was sideways and crashing into the wall, hoping to miss everyone else.
My race was pretty much done from there, there was nothing I could do but hope for other’s misfortune and race as hard as I could. Coming up through the field I had a nice few battles. My first was with F199, who was on the options, and he was difficult to get passed, but looked like he was struggling as well. I looked for as many openings as I could, but didn’t want to risk a stupid manoeuvre. This eventually culminated in me using DRS and trying to get passed into turn 1, which I admit was a little risky, but it just about paid off, no doubt thanks to F199 for not running into me. So I’m sorry about that, I broke way too late.
My primes were starting to lose a lot of grip, and with Brooksy now chasing me, it was a difficult time, because I wanted to save fuel as well. He ended up pitting a lap before me and I really should have pitted at the same time, because the next lap, my grip was terrible. Moss was hounding me the whole lap and didn’t realise that I was pitting, so into the last corner, he tried to pass me on the outside, but I was trying to head into the pits, so we connected, and this resulted in me almost pulling him into the pits with me as well as gaining a penalty in the process.
I came out of the pits on fresh options, which felt fantastic, and I was just in front of Brooksy, and was chasing down my team mate, Bradley. I think he was on primes at this point, and I was catching him at about 1.5 seconds per lap. Once I was with him, I decided to just stay on the back until the DRS zone, for a nice, safe pass. This would have worked, but Bradley tried to defend the position by braking late into the first corner on the inside, and we were lucky not to tangle, but I had the inside line into the second corner, and found my way passed. It was a little dramatic, but nothing major. Luckily, this also meant that Brooksy was behind Bradley for another lap, which meant I could turn up the revs and pull a gap, which I think ended up being around 2+ seconds.
After this point, it was pretty much plain sailing. No more trouble from Brooksy (especially as I think he tangled with either F199 or a Lotus Renault backmarker, whom I had narrowly avoided a couple of times). From then on I just managed my fuel and tyres, and realised that there was no way I could close the 10 second gap to those in front of me and had to settle for 5th.
I realise that with my penalty, it pushes me to 6th, but I think with Moss’ video, everyone should be able to see that the penalty was unjustified, and not a result of me pushing the limits of the race track, or race craft.