Post by Jonatan Acerclinth on Apr 13, 2020 12:24:03 GMT
Well, after having been nagged for a while to partake in the championship I made my debut in this championship. I've always enjoyed Formula cars at this old Mexico City circuit, don't know why as I don't know much about how to set them up properly, but enjoyed it I have.
Practice: Firstly David Jaques told me to try the Benetton just because he would be helping out getting a setup done for it anyway after I gave him a stern no when he suggested that I try the Ferrari (I don't like Paddle Shifters much and the Ferrari is too quick for my reflexes...) and it took me a few laps but got it down to a pretty decent time on half a tank. Anders then joined in and told me to try the Larrousse after I had prefferences for the Coloni (don't know why I like that either, I suppose it's because it's very consistent and nice to drive).
Took me another few laps to get the hang of driving the Larrousse around here and I could then start playing around with it with the help of Dave and Anders to get the gearing done as well as possible and I then put in a few of my preferences to the setup and got it to handle as good as I could ever hope to get it to work. I was very consistent but obviously not as quick as the more horse-filled machines in the field, but according to both Anders and Dave I got a lot out of the Larrousse so it was looking good.
Qualifying: My qualifying was a question of having a very good banker lap, only a tenth off my best banker lap but I then struggled to improve as I also penalised myself by missing the red-light at the start of Q and escaping back, so effectively loosing one of the 4 runs...
But still, 16th with a car that doesn't get as quick as others when the fuel is removed (I gained about 3,5-4 secs, I saw many gain 5-6 secs) I was feeling ok with.
Race: I was worried about the start and I was correct to be so. Was sad to see the Minardi boys run into trouble and, in extension, my teammate Sam but I was able to just about survive two scares on the opening lap.
Settled into my pace and quickly caught up to Thiago in the Lotus and Tim in the Jordan. Tim didn't try too hard to keep me at bay but Thiago proved to be a challange. It was difficult to sit in the dirty air and then not have enough power to actually outdrag him properly down the mahoosive front straight so had to set it up so that I could make the move down at the 4-5-6-7 section of the track and got by after a few laps, thanks for not putting up too much of a fight once I got up the inside Thiago.
Got back to my flat 22 pace and quickly caught up to the trio of Mick, Richard C and Alberto Jr. Just as I caught up to them Mick made a mistake at Peraltada and I could sneak by along with Alberto and then just about be able to hold on until the infield. I'm going to appologise to Alberto Jr once again, I was part of the reason he went off as I asked what his lap-speed was. Really sorry to see that happen.
I then spent a couple of laps behind Juha and Richard, hoping for mistakes so I could get back to my pace. They were quicker down the straight but sooooooooooo slow on the infield part. After a few laps Juha broke free from Richard but I got stuck there for a few more laps until the pressure (and tire wear?) showed and Richard had a spin allowing me to get through and a chance at trying to hunt down Juha and Richard Wilks' Leyton House.
I knew I should have a good chance to hunt down at least Wilks as I was a bit quicker in practice but Juha would be more difficult but I knew he was going to pit at some point. Settled into my lap-times of mid 21's by now and surprisingly quickly caught up to Richards Leyton House but then I got stuck. I was partly hoping he'd let me by since I caught up at such a rate but that didn't happen and I didn't want to burn off the tires trying to make my way past. Took many laps of me looking for a chance at the end of the esses before I changed tactics and tried to get good runs off of Peraltada onto the straight to give me a chance to stay within drafting range but it took a few laps to get it right, Richard must have had his car really trimmed out to run hard down that straight... Managed to stay within range and bombed my way through Esses Moisés Solana and got a good exit to sit within a car leanght going down Recta Transera and I knew I was a lot quicker through the left Ese del Lago and was able to set the car up for a good sprint down the short shute to Horquilla and was able to sneak up the inside and once I was there Richard relented and allowed me to sneak past. Good, hard and fair fight Richard, just too bad for me you didn't let me by earlier, may have been able to hold on from Jaques had that happened hehe
From then on my tires were pretty much shot to pieces. Was very hard to stay consistent but still got back into my 20's and low 21's once I was past Richard but David was running 19's I found out from watching the broadcast after the race so it was simply a matter of time before he would be past. David did indeed look for a move at Ese del Lago but I told him just before that I'm quick through there and he cleverly backed out so we could run through the esses at our own speed but then that Yamaha V12 (which is low on power compared to the Honda's and Ferrari's) produced way more power than my Cosworth DFR and I could only wave as he blasted past shortly after the S/F line...
Was surprised to be able to hold on to some extent to him but I also recon he was holding back as 1st to 3rd was way up the road from us, but it was a nice surprise either way. The last few laps was gruesome with old tires though, was having to be very careful not to overheat the rears esepecially with my high-torque-on-low-rev-engine and I was successful, bringing the Larrousse home in 5th and hopefully pleasing both the designer Broadley and Éric Bernard in the process.
Will try the Larrousse at Magny-Course and then we'll see if I decide to pick it up for the rest of the season now that I've got a setup that actually works for these cars after 2 seasons in rF where the setups didn't work at all for me nor the cars I had at the time. Thank you once again to Anders and David for the help with the setup, it truly helped me immensely
Race report tomorrow but just want to apologise to Gabriele. When overtaking I changed lanes to defend but A) I didn’t realise how little room between us there was and B) I changed lanes way too harshly. Completely on me and was a dangerous lane change from myself. Apologies Gabriele
Don' t worry Grant ..I watched server replay on slow motion and i notice we had very close and funny battles on lap 4, when I pass you (almost imperceptible contact btw your front right and my rear left) and on lap 65 when you pass me on the straight ( nose to tail ) but nothing of dangerous because speeds were very similar. I cannot replicate the pass at the end of the straight due to a locking front right wheel. (Too front brake balance to compensate bad feeling with sliding rear tires)
Anyway, you well deserved the 2nd place, no doubt
TOP :Congratulations to Dave Miller for his unbelievable speed and consistency, to David Jacques for his great recovery from the back and Jonathan Acerclint for his amazing 5th with the tiny Larrousse .
DOWN : backmarkers who usually ignore blue flags...
Had some decent pace early on in the week but was a little down on race pace. The Yamaha engine needed to be let loose down the straights so I opted for lower wings.
Qualifying went well for me. I was happy with 3rd and was very close with Lewis and Dave for 1st and 2nd. Great laps there guys!
The start was a little off for me. Too much wheel spin dropped me back into 5th but by lap 2 was sitting in 2nd. (Gutting to see what happened to Lewis :/ ). After this i literally was gobsmacked at how quick Dave has got that Williams going. Nearly a full 2 seconds quicker a lap! Man that is crazy, but a job well done to Dave for setting it up! My Brabham just wasn’t feeling too punchy for the first 20 laps. I couldn’t get it up to speed so instead of pushing it even harder (like I normally do) and end up in a wall I decided to calm it and make my move later on in the race. By the time I pitted on lap 32 I was 14 seconds or so behind Gabriele. I thought if I had any chance at all of 2nd place I will need the under cut, a good setup on light fuel (which I had) and a splash of luck.
So by the time the pit stops were all finished I found myself only 9 seconds of 2nd. I pushed as hard as I could, I had a lot to loose but Alberto in the broadcast put it perfectly. I need every single point to catch up in the standings. So as the laps went down so did the gap between me and Gabriele. I knew something must be wrong with his car, be it damage or wrong tires because his pace wasn’t completely there. With around 4 laps to go I managed to capitalise on this and thankfully regain 2nd.
I am very pleased with this. Taking 16 out of 20 points in the last two races... I can only try and keep this momentum going. But with the competition so high with multiple drivers, I feel this is going to be a hard task, can’t wait though!
I would say though, I did find some times back markers not following the blue flag rule, I get were all equal and being a lap down or up doesn’t give anyone more rights. But following the actual flag rules will only save you and the car lapping time. Keeping the lapping car behind a full lap isn’t sportsman like or a clever idea.
All in all a good result for me. Congratulations Dave. You were unbeatable and kept composure and did not get complacent, and well done to Gabriele, was nice fighting with you! Also pretty impressed with Jonatan, that Larousse has no right being 5th haha