He recalls the Spa-Francorchamps race in which he finished second as part of a Trident 1-2. He details why the team arrived at the race full of confidence and how his mental training never allowed him to rule himself out of the Championship fight.
“Having the summer break right before Spa was good, I had time to train, do some mental preparations. So I was going into the weekend very calm and very confident. It’s a track that I enjoy. I have circuits that I prefer over Spa, especially this year with new circuits for me, but Spa is obviously very famous and it's very nice to race there. High-speed corners and the feeling going through Eau Rouge is very good, I love it.
“I remember I was driving to the race from Italy with the Team Manager and my own manager. We had a funny drive to the circuit and it got me into the racing mindset. Then I had my bike with me so I was able to ride around the track on Wednesday. It helped because I felt like I was a step ahead already.
“Then the race weekend started and it was very smooth. We knew the Trident car was very good at Spa and I felt that there was no pressure. I enjoyed every race with the team and continue to do so. All the races felt great so it’s hard to pick one but this Spa weekend was a good one. I wasn’t able to win but if there had been a few more laps then maybe.
“Qualifying was very tough. We started the first run on the wet tyres and the track was drying. As usual in Spa, the conditions are always very tough, but I think one of my strongest points is being able to adapt and I adapted well in that session. Once we swapped the wet tyres for slicks, I was able to immediately find a way to be fast, so it was a very good Qualifying. I finished P5 but I was very fast. There was a yellow flag that I had to slow down for that others didn’t, so it was an unlucky situation but I was very fast that weekend.
“As I said, Trident is very strong at Spa but we worked hard to maximise the car together and as I can say now, in some of the rounds that year, we were just unlucky. From my side, sometimes I didn’t do my best but that Spa weekend, we just put everything together and that’s what we should have done at every round. But sometimes motorsport is like this. Sometimes maybe good…
“It was my third year in F3 so I had to think about the Championship, I couldn’t just go and send it. When I did, I had to be a little bit more conservative because I had to score points. I did that well after the break. I scored strongly in Spa and Zandvoort but then at Monza I had a tearoff in the car which meant the brakes were on fire in Race 2, these kinds of things are unacceptable from my side and it will stay in my mind my whole life, but sometimes things are like this.
“I worked a lot over the winter to extract to get the best out of myself. The mind really has no limits, the things you can do with your mental health is amazing. An exampple, I can sit underwater for five minutes now but I worked very hard with my mental coach to extract the best to be able to do that. I love to explore this so I think that makes me stronger. That’s why I’m very good at adapting in a race weekend like Spa.”