Finishing ninth and fourth on Saturday in Spa, Caio Collet scored in successive races for the first time since the opening round of the season, and although a time penalty in Race 1 reduced the number of points taken, the MP Motorsport driver insisted that the decision hadn’t dampened his mood.
Collet charged through the top 10 in Race 1 despite a downpour of rain, claiming two places inside of the opening laps before getting stuck into a five-car fight for fourth place. After getting shovelled wide in the brawl, Collet returned at the front of the group in fourth, but the Stewards found that he’d gained an advantage by leaving the track.
Falling to ninth once the 5s time penalty was applied, Collet followed this up with fourth in Race 2, gaining a place from Alex Smolyar in the opening lap.
“I think that the penalty (in Race 1) was fair,” assessed Collet. “I was off track through Eau Rouge, but when you’re in that situation, travelling at 230kph in the rain, if I had lifted or braked at any point, then I think I would have crashed. From my point of view, it was bit better to keep it flat out and try and avoid any contact.
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“I deserved the penalty, and I took it. I have heard some divided opinions about the move, some say it was nice, some say that it was a bit too aggressive, but judging from the outside can sometimes be a bit tricky. Overall, I think I deserved the penalty.
“But I am happy to be back in the points in both races today. We haven't done that for quite a long time, so it’s a decent result with some good points. We’ll keep pushing tomorrow.”
The Brazilian rookie has enjoyed the wet conditions in Spa so far, citing previous experience at the circuit with Formula Renault Eurocup and French F4 as key.
Starting Race 3 from fourth, Collet is targeting a third podium of the season, and his first since Le Castellet, saying that he wants to reward the team for their efforts.
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“I have raced in conditions like this in my career before, even at Spa, so you just try to use that experience,” said Collet. “It’s important to try and feel the grip that you have in these conditions and that’s what we did today. Even in Qualifying yesterday, in tricky conditions, we were able to put a good lap together and get into the top five.
“I think that the conditions will be tricky again tomorrow, but there is some margin to improve from today's races. In Race 2, we weren’t as quick as we were in Race 1, so we need to have a look at that and find out why and where we can improve.
“A podium would be nice to finish off the weekend. I feel that both me, and especially the team, deserve it. If me and Victor (Martins) can get on the podium, that would be really nice for the team.”