It’s been a frustrating couple of months for Kaylen Frederick, who says he’s anticipating a “tricky” weekend as he gets set to race for the first time since the start of July in Zandvoort, two months and two rounds on from fracturing his thumb at the Red Bull Ring.
Suffering the injury in a Race 2 collision in Spielberg, Frederick was initially expecting to return to action in Spa before a positive Covid-19 test provided a further setback.
The Carling Buzz driver has arrived in Zandvoort fit and firing but accepts that it will take him time to get back up to speed with his progress stalling during the absence.
“Normally you’d be doing a lot of simulator work and you’d be on top of your training,” Frederick explained. “But because of my injury and then the covid situation on top of that, it has been very tricky.
“I didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare as I had to isolate in and around Spa, so I wasn’t able to go to the gym or anything. I was doing what I could whilst my thumb was recovering, slowly ramping things up and ensuring that everything I was doing was safe and under control, but I wasn’t able to do much more. I got a couple of sim sessions in when it was safe to do so, but there wasn’t enough time to fit everything in.
“This race weekend, more than anything, will be about getting my confidence back with my thumb. I know that I’ll be more fatigued because I haven’t been able to train or get on the simulator nearly as much as I should have been. It’s going to be tricky, but I will do my best and see how the weekend goes.”
The 19-year-old had been making steady progress prior to his injury, converting his best Qualifying performance of the season into his first points in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring, rising from 16th to ninth.
And although he says his primary focus in Zandvoort will be on getting comfortable once again, Frederick isn’t ruling out further improvements.
“We have been working hard, but because this is my first time back there are a lot of unknowns and a lot has changed,” he said. “If I can go out in practice and get comfortable driving again and not think about my injury, then I think that will be the biggest thing.
“In qualifying, the goal for us is to get into the top 12 and get onto that reverse grid. It’s hard to say now how realistic that is, but we will go for it.”