Vesti 2nd at Spa
The SPA F1 track in the Belgian Ardennes mountains is known to the F3 drivers for many things, but most of all unpredictability and total chaos! Unpredictability due to the weather changing in a fraction of a second. And chaos when a field of 30 drivers is unleashed in qualifying where no one will give their competitors an advantage by making room for a fast lap. At the same time, everyone is looking for space to set the fastest lap time. It was no exception this time when the F3 field met up at Spa this weekend.
All the potential was there this time for a quick lap. My car drove perfectly. After a hectic and kind of chaotic weekend in Barcelona, I went into qualifying with a feeling of being back. I love this place! I love the track! Even though I have not run races here before, all the many hours spent driving simulator races was not in vain. I felt really comfortable already on the first laps."
But it became something of a ridiculous experience. All the cars crowded together almost on top of each other and it took way too long before we got started. Meanwhile, dark clouds looking more and more threatening, so you knew it was just a matter of time before the track got wet. The fast lap had to be set in the first attempt. There was hardly going to be another opportunity. And quite right! My quick lap was ruined by a red flag that stopped qualifying. My time was thus not registered. A time that would have immediately reached a top 3."
Qualifying never picked up again as the water began to trickle down. Everyone in the top 10 - except Vesti and his 2 Prema colleagues - got to set their fastest time on a lap before the session was red flagged . It was a 9th best time for Vesti.
Race 1 in my mind stands out as my top 3 race in all of my career. I don't have to win a race to be able to say this. This race simply HAD IT ALL. I was in full control and felt at one with the car. Super fast in the corners, less fast on the long straights, but we will change that for tomorrow. I was hit on my rear tyre in the first corner, I lost 2 precious positions because of that. Luckily I didn't get a puncture. Then it was forward, and luckily Spa is a great circuit for overtaking. But first and above all, we followed a clear strategy in terms of tire management. It's one of the most fascinating things to be able to successfully follow such a strategy!"
The sprint race on Sunday was a clean and strong race for Vesti. A really good start from P5 and wise driving over the first laps where it was important to keep especially Liam Lawson behind him, after 5 laps Vesti was up in 2nd place. Efforts were made trying to catch up with teammate Logan Sargeant, who leads the championship, and Vesti got closer and closer. But in the attempt, the tires suffered a great deal, so there wasn't much grip left, as Vesti was finally within 4/10 of a second. One more round and Vesti would have caught up with Sargeant.
A wonderful weekend for me here at Spa! The race yesterday was better in my head, even though I finished further down, BUT MAN how I enjoyed it today as well. I'm, taking 20 points with me, I'm pretty happy with that "Now I'm warmed up well for Monza!"
Already racing at Monza next weekend.