The return to Spain and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya brings me back to a venue that saw me finish seventh last time here. Would I make progress or would I go backwards?
I was trying to develop my car as it was becoming clear I had issues with the rear sliding around. This had been a problem at the last couple of races and it was a problem here too, especially when the car was heavy. Turns 7 and 8 gave me a little grief but turns 11 and 12 were murderous. Did I use the flashback system? Yeah, because I wanted to and needed to if I was have anything resembling a chance here.
I could not get much pace going and I knew qualifying wouldn’t yield much of a result. I started 12th, and interestingly alongside the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who must have taken a penalty. A cagey start saw me creep into the points but I couldn’t wait to ditch the soft tyres, that were worn in pretty short order. I can’t call this race memorable or interesting, and in the end, compared to last season, the result ended up being slightly worse – eighth was worth four points, which became five points when I stopped late on for soft tyres and pumped in the fastest lap on the penultimate lap (having swapped it with Leclerc a little bit). As before, damage limitation was the order of business, and at least I’d achieved that. Also, for reasons unknown Bottas retired, and Hamilton finished ahead of me but not that far ahead. Sainz won and Leclerc was second, marking a rare Ferrari 1-2.