Belgian GP 2021 - AlphaTauri preview
“As a driver you can reflect on your last race result until it is time to get back on track. So, the result in Budapest was the best way to end the first half of the season, as I could enjoy it through the summer break. We had a really good Qualifying, fifth fastest, so first of the “rest” behind the top two teams. In the race, once again I was out of luck, dropping back to avoid the chaos at the first corner. It meant we couldn’t really make the most of our Qualifying performance. But we fought back from almost last, a great fight up the order to finish fifth. Scoring points with both cars was important and, for me, going into the break lying eighth in the Drivers’ classification was also a very satisfying achievement.
From Hungary, I went directly to Spain where I met up with some other drivers for a fun and relaxing time and after that I went back to France where I spent time with friends I’ve had since childhood, generally having a rest but also keeping up with my training programme, because fitness is going to be important in the very busy second half of the year. I feel ready for it!
Going back to Spa is a nice way to start racing again. Spa is one my favourite tracks, I love it and I have always done well here. I particularly remember it was here that I took my first ever win in a single-seater. So, a lot of good souvenirs, even if we can never forget 2019 and the emotions linked to Anthoine (Hubert). The track layout is incredible and usually produces good racing. I hope we can start this second part of the season, continuing where we left off in Hungary, after an enjoyable summer break, being fully recharged for the very busy time that lies ahead, especially the triple-headers.”
“The first half of the season overall was really interesting and enjoyable, many things about it were unexpected for me. It did not really match with what I had thought it might be like before the season started. There were lots of ups and downs and at times my performance was very inconsistent. But overall, I am quite happy because I managed to score points, helping Scuderia AlphaTauri to be the only team to score points in every race so far this year. We need to keep that going now as we start the second half of the year!
After Hungary, I headed straight for the simulator in Milton Keynes to do the correlation for Hungaroring and also look at the next three tracks. Then I went to Italy and spent time sorting out my new home, which is very near to the factory in Faenza. I was definitely ready for a break and I enjoyed it.
It’s great that we start racing again at Spa, because I have very good memories from this track. Last year in Formula 2, I won the Feature Race starting from pole position and the year before that in Formula 3, it was here that I got my first podium in the category. I like the track, so I am looking forward to it and I think it will be one of the circuits that will feel extra special in a Formula 1 car for the first time, it will be an especially interesting experience to see how an F1 car goes through Eau Rouge.”
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