The previous days I have been testing at Spa Francorchamps and I must admit I was very excited to come here. I have done many laps on the simulator here and I really enjoyed the track. So even before coming here I already had great expectations from this track.
When I got there and had a chance to look at the corner l’eau rouge it was mind blowing, the steepness of the corner in real life is very different from the simulator!
Day 1 was together with the Super Cup and the German Carrera Cup and of course some drivers of the Benelux. In total we were 35 cars and to have a complete field like this allows us to see where we are and how I compare to others. This is why these test days are so important to see this and to improve our own pace and setup of the car. Day 1 was mostly getting used to the track, the high speed corners required a little time to maximize the speed in the corners to gain trust in the car and track, the first few times I took it a bit easy to make sure nothing went wrong. After a few laps we were back on speed and showed good space but unfortunately on such a big track with so many cars red flags come up and for me at a bad timing! Often the red flags came when I was just on the first push lap of my new tires so that’s bad luck but that’s also motor racing of course and these things happen.
Day 2 showed again the good pace we had, we were P1 from the BENELUX throughout the day, also on day 1 actually, so that showed we were really quick. Compared to the top guys we still miss a little time but that’s not too bad, we didn’t do too many tire runs. Sadly on day two some technical issues came through but we were still able to do a total of 100 laps on Spa so that’s a good prep for the first race which is of course in SPA. So far this is my favorite track, I think the new cup car works so well there and I am really grateful to have done these two days at SPA.
For the final two days of testing in SPA we first went through all the data of the first two days in Spa and we tried to see where we still have weak points and knowing these were the last test days before the first race we tried different things on the car. I also tried some different driving styles. The two days in itself were quite difficult, there was a lot of traffic so it’s hard to get in a proper qualifying run. So it was a little tricky to get the perfect lap out so it doesn’t make it a perfect reference for the first race. This combined with the technical issues we were facing on day 2 meant we didn’t get in the laps we were hoping for. But I was still able to fully prepare for the race trying out different starts. I am still 100% convinced of my initial point of view, and shared by many Formula 1 drivers, this is by far my favorite track.
I am so looking forward to the first race! And I am definitely aiming for a podium place!