Richard Verschoor was conflicted about his Qualifying performance at Spielberg after securing seventh. Whilst he was pleased to be starting his weekend off on the right foot, the Dutchman was downbeat wondering where Trident’s early pace had vanished to.
After victory in the Sakhir season-opener and a podium in the Jeddah Feature, he has failed to score in all but one race – the Baku Feature. However, now he has put himself right in the mix for points in Spielberg with a crucial final run.
Improvements elsewhere had demoted him to 19th. Yet with less than a minute and a half left to go, track evolution helped the Trident driver rocket up the order to 10th, which later became eighth following lap time deletions further up the order.
“I don't know. On the one hand, I’m quite happy that we are in the top 10. On the other hand, I know we are struggling a bit to fight with the top drivers. We started off the season very well and then now, suddenly the pace we have makes it a lot more difficult to fight at the front. So, I'm a bit disappointed with that.
“It was really important. I only had one lap because on the first lap, the tyres were not ready at all. I'm quite happy with the second lap, it was very important because that's why we're in the top ten now, because we did a good second lap on the second set. Otherwise, it would have been more difficult. To be honest, the second lap felt quite good. I mean, there's always room for improvement, but definitely not a massive step.”
Lining up P3 on the grid for the Sprint Race, Verschoor’s going to be greeted by a sea of orange in the grandstands. While many Dutch fans are there to support Max Verstappen in Formula 1, there’ll be no shortage of cheers for Verschoor. Loving the atmosphere his compatriots have brought, he says this weekend has become almost like a second home race for him and he’s determined to put on a show for them.
“It's amazing! I wave to the crowd because there are a lot of people that I know in the grandstands, and they are all wearing orange – it's very nice to drive in front of them. This is already making me look forward to Zandvoort even more.”
With the potential for rain come Sunday morning’s Feature Race, Verschoor’s got his fingers crossed for wet conditions at lights out and is eager to take advantage of Red Bull Ring’s many overtaking opportunities to close in on the top five fight out front.
“There are three DRS zones, so it’s very important to stay inside the DRS range and then anything can happen. We’re certainly aiming to go forward. I wouldn't mind some rain to be honest! I think our pace should be okay, we are ready for both a dry and wet race, so I'm looking forward either way.”