Our preparation was really good, and we were definitely quick from the outset. It’s just that a load of things happened that were not in our control!
So I came away with no points through no fault of mine or the DAMS team, which is really frustrating. But we’re really encouraged about our speed heading into the rest of the season.
Qualifying was an odd session. It was wet at one point, but drying lap after lap. I was fastest after everyone had run their first set of tyres, but I was one of a number who caught a red flag on our second runs. The session was restarted, but by this time it was raining quite heavily again so no one could go quicker. Some had gone for their second run earlier and got big improvements as the track dried, so I was disappointed to end up fifth on the grid.
'In the first race I was looking good. I was running fourth, right behind Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco.'
I was driving pretty gently, looking after the tyres. I could see Charles’s tyres going off and I would definitely have passed Antonio within a lap or two. Then the upper part of the rear wing failed and started dangling down. I was still quick, but understandably the officials don’t like this kind of thing for safety reasons so I was called into the pits. It was just a part failure, one of those things none of us can control.
That put me at the back of the grid for race two. I had a great start and I think I made up seven places by Turn 6! But then going down to Stowe Giuliano Alesi smashed into me and damaged my steering. Even with that I was quite quick and was feeling confident of a good result – I could see where I was compared to the leaders when I looked at the TV screens! But then another car hit me on the virtual safety car restart and my suspension was almost completely broken, and I had a puncture too… I don’t know how the car survived, but I did the last five laps with one of my wheels held on only by a cable. So I finished 17th.
Somehow, with all that’s gone on in the last two rounds, I’m still sixth in the championship. The title is not impossible, because there are still six of the nine rounds to go. Our team, our car… everyone did a great job. But what can you say about everything that happened? It’s hard, but we have to take this one on the chin, and we did learn a lot about the car this weekend. Hopefully our bad luck has to be used up for the season now!