Richard Verschoor put on one of the standout drives of the opening weekend in Sakhir, Bahrain. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver was facing backwards and last following contact on the opening lap of the Feature Race. He rebounded to climb back up the order and somehow secure P5 on Sunday.

It was a storming drive that took hold in the final phase of the race, but in the early moments it looked to be over for him as quickly as it started.

“I think eventful is the right word to describe the race. I was going corner by corner, not taking any risks. I accepted the fact that Kush Maini overtook me and then suddenly I felt a big, big hit. The floor was quite a bit damaged. It was clear somebody braked a bit too late.

“Our pace on the hard tyre after the crash was quite poor, so it felt like a lost race. But I didn’t give up, I kept my head down and as soon as we switched to the soft tyres, which we did quite late compared to others, we had strong pace. I could pass all of them in the space of a few laps so it was quite a strong performance in the end."

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Teams were split on strategies and it wasn’t clear who had called it right until the very end of the race. Those starting on softs appeared to have the early advantage but an aggressive strategy from a few runners on the hard tyres pulled the rest of the field into the pits for their mandatory stops, in order to avoid being undercut.

For Verschoor, his afternoon was a case of damage limitation that turned into one of great opportunity. Boxing for softs later than those around him, he made great use of his fresh rubber to mount an improbable comeback.

“Nobody really knew what to expect from the hards. The softs, as we saw yesterday, were tricky as well so we tried to extend our hard stint as much as we could. We lost time but not as much as if we were on softs that were fully degraded. I think we did a good call.”

FEATURE RACE: Pourchaire dominant as podium fight goes to final lap

While he was thankful to be leaving Bahrain with a double-digit points haul, Verschoor says that there was still pace to unlock that the frenetic Feature Race disguised.

Heading to Jeddah for Round 2, Verschoor is targeting another fight for the top places in order to claw back what the Dutch driver feels was lost points.

“First of all, I’m really happy to have scored some points today. After the crash I thought I was going to have zero after this weekend. It’s always good to keep scoring points so I’m happy to be on 11 points and in Jeddah, we’ll try to make up for the points that we lost this weekend.

“I feel that we have a lot to improve. I really feel we’re not where we want to be and I’m not where I want to be with the car. I’m sure the team will be working hard to improve the car and I’ll be joining them in the hard work to get better for the next round.”