Enzo Fittipaldi’s mega race from 26th to 12th in Spa certainly looked like a lot of fun, and showed that the HWA RACELAB man has plenty of pace, but he says it’s not where he wants to be as the overtake-laden drive failed to bring home any points.
Fittipaldi was forced to start towards the back of the grid following a puncture in Race 1, and always knew that a fourth points finish would be a tough ask from there, but gave one of the drives of his life to make up 14 places.
“It was an unknown reason, why we got the puncture,” he explained. “I had no contact. I was running in 12th after Lap 2 and the tyre just blew after Turn 1 – Pirelli are looking into it. It was unfortunate that it ended our race and meant that we started 26th (on Sunday), but we finished 12th and I was catching up quite a lot to the guys in the top ten.
“There wasn’t much else I could do to be honest, because there was quite a big gap. I was held up in 14th behind, I think (David) Schumacher, but whoever it was had quite a big gap to the guys in front. After I got by him and was in 13th, I had another seven or eight seconds to recover.”
Fittipaldi explained that some of these were “risky moves,” but that he always knew when to balance risk versus reward, which was key.
“There were many overtakes into Turn 5 and into Turn 8,” he continued. “I think I got five overtakes in one lap or something like that.
“There were some risky moves, but I also knew when to be patient, which is critical when you start from the back - you need to wait for the right moment. At the same time, you also have to save tyres. It was definitely difficult from a driver’s point of view. P12, so no points, but it was a good recovery.”
The HWA driver knows that he has the race pace to compete in the top 10, but has struggled to get the car working for him in Qualifying on a regular basis. The Brazilian is yet to qualify inside of the top ten – his current highest being P13 in Silverstone.
“We have made a step forward with the team,” he said. “We just have to sort out Qualifying, but I am sure we can get better results.
“It has a lot to do with the tyres. For me, it has been really inconsistent lately. One Qualifying I am able to get the tyres into the right window, and the next we are way back and end up being one second off.
“I would say that (the Spa) weekend was a different scenario, as we were struggling a lot in Sector 1 and Sector 3 where there are a lot of long straights. Sector 2 was our strong point. We struggled in the other two and we are still trying to analyse why.
“It was difficult anyway though, as we only had one lap and it started to rain, which no one was expecting. Generally, Qualifying has been a struggle for us, hopefully we can sort it out for the last two rounds.”