It may have taken them three races to do it, but Felipe Drugovich came away from the Feature Race delighted with the performance of his UNI-Virtuosi car, as the team finally nailed their setup around the Baku City Circuit.
Starting from 11th after a poor Qualifying session on Friday, the Brazilian made up four places during a manic start, before gaining a further three throughout the race, narrowly missing out on a podium to Robert Shwartzman.
Finishing outside of the points in both of the Sprint Races, Drugovich explained the trial and error that went into improving the car.
“I am very happy. We started the weekend quite a lot behind the guys who we are fighting with in the Championship, which wasn't nice,” said Drugovich. “We tried some things in quali, race 1 and race 2 and they didn’t work, and race 2 wasn't ideal. That gave us some indications of what to do though and we put it all together for race 3 and it was actually really good.
“It was quite crazy at the start. The first lap in Baku is never easy, with big braking zones in a street circuit, but I made up some positions. I was able to choose the right lines for the braking and that is when I gained some positions, so I was very happy with the first lap.
“We still didn't maximise everything that we had, but it was still a lot better than the rest of the weekend.”
Sitting ninth in the Drivers’ Championship, Drugovich hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of starts to the season, but he says the team’s performances during the mid-season tests at Barcelona bode well for him going forward, as they gear up for a return to a normal circuit at Silverstone in July.
“First of all, I will have to reset my mind to go back to a normal circuit after two street circuits,” he continued. “The last time at a normal circuit was the test at Barcelona, which was really good for the team.
“We will take that test into consideration and spend a lot of time on the simulator and a lot of training because Silverstone is quite a physical track.”