Ralph Boschung put Campos Racing up into P1 in his first session back in the car after an enforced break due to fitness issues.
After battling against facet syndrome and neck pain that kept him out of the car following the Baku race weekend, Boschung hit the ground running immediately in tricky conditions.
Speaking afterwards, the Campos driver said he was happy enough to get laps under his belt but ending the session fastest wasn’t his biggest achievement.
“I’m happy that I don’t feel too bad with the neck yet, which for me is the biggest achievement in that session. We’re taking it step by step, obviously it was very tricky conditions which meant there was a high chance to put it in the wall. It feels good though to be back.
“I feel really good with the team, nothing has really changed with the car, the performance is really good as always. It’ll be more up to me and see where the neck where is and where it leads to over the weekend.
“If it stays wet across the weekend then that’ll help me because we’ll have less Gs than on a dry track. The main focus is on the neck but then we’ll see what happens for the rest of the weekend.”
While the conditions never really improved from a light drizzle as the lights went green for Free Practice, Boschung is expecting similar weather for the afternoon Qualifying session. The Campos man admits that the early red flag stoppage, a result of lock-ups at Turn 1 for Enzo Fittipaldi and David Beckmann, hurt everyone’s preparations for the all-important Qualifying period later on.
Combine that with his time out of the car and Boschung is under no illusions that a tough challenge awaits him around Spa, but that a bit of luck could turn things around in his favour.
READ MORE: PRACTICE: Boschung leads the way in disrupted drizzly Spa opener
The Practice session was stop/start with two separate Red Flags curtailing running with time still on the clock. It meant that nobody really got a serious push lap in. That lack of running could play into anyone’s hands and could mean that being in the right place at the right time counts more than outright pace.
“It doesn’t help that I’ve not been in the car for quite some time. I would have liked to have had more time in the car and maybe one push lap, but I think we’re all in the same boat so it’s kind of equal for everybody in that sense.
“I think that could be similar conditions in Qualifying so maybe it’ll be about getting the lap in early and you could be on pole, so I’m looking forward to Qualifying.
“Because it’s Qualifying, we’ll have to take more risks than Practice. You can get a massive reward if you take a lot of risk and manage to finish the lap. But, as we know, taking high risk can also lead to a high penalty so I think it’ll be a little bit in between. Maybe a bit of luck could come into it with red flags.”