Jean-Eric Vergne blogs on his post-Hockenheim visit to Salzburg's Hangar-7, talks Sebastian Vettel's race penalty and looks ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
There hasn't been much time to reflect on my race in Germany, as almost as soon as that race was over I was off to Salzburg in Austria where I appeared on a TV show called Sport and Talk, which is on Servus TV, the Red Bull station.
It’s broadcast from Hangar-7, which, as it sounds is an aircraft hangar at Salzburg airport, which has been converted into a really cool facility with space for a host of classic planes and cars, as well as a bar and a restaurant. It’s pretty cool.
The format for the TV show is pretty simple – get some sports people to sit around talking about the issues of the day. I was on with Dr Helmut Marko and an Austrian journalist, Gerhard Kuntschik, so the topics naturally revolved around Red Bull Racing’s weekend: the steward’s questions on Sunday and Sebastian Vettel’s penalty in the race. The first is politics and I’ll be the first to confess that’s not for a driver to get involved in, so I kept out of that. As for Seb’s penalty, well, I think he said it best after the race: the stewards made their decision and he accepted it. It’s the same as with the penalty I received a while ago: I accepted it and moved on. That’s racing.
Anyway, I was much happier talking about my race in Hockenheim, which I actually feel pretty positive about. Up until Sunday it had been a pretty tricky weekend. We had hardly any dry running at all in the build up to the race and that made finding a good set-up difficult.
Despite that the car genuinely felt good in the race. Of course, I had a puncture at the start, which set me back quite a lot but after that the feeling with the car really good and I felt like I could push. I do think that if I hadn’t got the puncture then I could have finished quite a bit further up.
To be honest I’m not entirely sure where the improvements in the race pace came from but there was definitely something there. I think all the little updates we’ve been bringing are starting to pay off in some areas and that definitely helped, but sometimes it’s as simple as the conditions being right, being on the right set of tyres and feeling confident about pushing the limits of the car and the circuit. I think some of those things came together on Sunday and I felt I had a pretty good race.
Of course, leaving with no points is always a bit of a disappointment, but you have to find the positives, and in general I was pretty happy with how the race went. I wouldn’t say that about the rest of the weekend but the race was good.
It does give me a bit of confidence coming here to Budapest, just a few days later. I hope we can achieve a similar feeling with car at the Hungaroring. The circuit’s got some similarities to Monaco in terms of it being a twisty little circuit with no straights and a lot of slow-speed corners, which is necessarily look for in a track but I had a decent weekend around the confines of Monaco, so I’m hoping for more of the same here this weekend.
I’ve had some good results here before, winning in Formula Renault 3.5 Formula Renault 2.0. and the track’s pretty good, so we’ll what we can get out of the car this weekend and I hope that means going into the summer break with a few more points under my belt.