So round 2 of the ADAC GT masters is over. A tough weekend at the Red Bull Ring, only the second weekend in the Audi GT3, but I am still really happy I am able to do this cool championship. Every round I realize how competitive it is and how amazing the field is with all the different manufacturers and different brands.
Before Red Bull Ring we were looking forward to the weekend, we were hopeful that the difficulties of Oschersleben were behind us and that the experience gained there would bring us some good results in the Red Bull Ring. The weekend started off decent on Thursday and Friday we had good pace and reached our expectations. We finetuned a few things on the car and that was good. Saturday we were confident to be able to be in the top 15 and have a good race. Sadly, my performance was below expectations, I made some mistakes with track limits which of course was a shame. But it’s part of the learning curve, sorry to the team, my partners, Jos and everyone around me, it was a shame I made that mistake. The race was hard, everyone has a similar pace and therefore it’s hard to overtake. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but then during the race things went downhill. That was not great, we had a penalty in starting procedure and then another penalty which made me fall back to last. I was able to gain a few places. It was good to have some race experience; you always have to make the best of it. We had a great pitstop change and Mattia was able to gain some places too, so he had a good race but sadly a small error in judgement resulted in contact with another car and another penalty.
After that we decided to retire the car so that was a DNF for race 1.
For Qualifying 2 we didn’t change much to the car. It was a tough qualifying for Mattia, the top 20 was divided by 4 tenths of a second so in the end it was a P17 being 3,5 tenths of pole. Mixed feelings after qualifying and some frustration. It wasn’t ideal. We were just hoping for race 2 we could continue like race 1 but sadly it was another DNF. We started having problems with the car and braking system and then I had a puncture so I had to retire the car.
Going from thinking you’re competitive on Friday to two DNF’s is very hard for everyone on the team.
We try to learn from it and come back stronger. The next race is my home race in Zandvoort so I am really looking forward to it. These first two rounds have shown me how competitive this championship is. To be honest it’s only driving me to work harder. Let’s hope we can analyze things and come back stronger in Zandvoort.
Many thanks again to everyone for their support and I hope for a good performance in Zandvoort. You can now buy tickets on Verstappen.com so I am hoping for a lot of support there. It’s a great race to watch, the passes include paddock and team access so you can have a full immersion in the racing experience and see the exciting battles live.
See you in Zandvoort!