Although he was delighted to finish the weekend on the pace, Felipe Drugovich insisted that both he and the team must do more to arrive in top form, as the UNI-Virtuosi racer once again took his time building into the weekend.
The Brazilian’s best results have typically come later on in rounds, with five scoreless races from the sprints, but points finishes in each of the Feature Races, including a podium.
Qualifying has been something of an Achilles heel for the Virtuosi racer, who was a strong Friday performer in 2020 but has just one top-three start to show for his efforts this season.
“From the car, it didn’t feel so good,” said Drugovich on finishing fourth and seventh in the two Silverstone Sprint Races. “It was so hot, and I think we missed raw pace. We were not fast.
“The races here were more like a procession and no one could overtake. I could keep my position, but the pace was not great. We certainly expected more in Qualifying, not just a P6, and that’s what compromised us for the races.
“The pace in the Feature Race gave us some confidence: Zhou was P1 and we were both very fast. But we needed more pace early on in the weekend. We normally end the weekend with a lot of pace because we develop through the weekend, but at the beginning, we struggle a little bit. We need to get to the track a lot more prepared.”
Intense heat and strong winds meant that it was tougher than usual for the field to overtake at Silverstone, with the potential for heavy tyre degradation. And while this benefitted Drugovich in the Sprint Races when he says his Virtuosi was lacking speed, it proved to be a hindrance in the Feature Race when he had the pace to compete.
Finishing where he started in sixth, Drugovich lost a place to Robert Shwartzman at the start but gained one from Théo Pourchaire.
“I don’t know about the others because everyone has their own issues, but for us, it was quite hard,” said Drugovich on the conditions. “On Saturday, it made the car very tricky to drive, especially with the wind.
“The conditions were changing all of the time. One time we could go through Copse or Maggots and Becketts and it would feel one way, but then on the next lap it would be the opposite, so it was quite tricky. It was the same for everyone though.
“In the Feature Race, our starting position was okay, and our start was okay, but from there on I was just a passenger in the group, I couldn't overtake. We had a messy pitstop as well, otherwise, I could have maybe overtaken some people in front. I think the pitstop was the worst part of the race because the pace was good.
“I did all that I could, staying behind (Robert) Shwartzman and trying to pass. I couldn't have done much more, so we just have to analyse and try to be better, and maybe get a little bit more luck - especially in Qualifying.”