The weather at Silverstone is known for throwing a few curveballs the drivers’ way, but Isack Hadjar was left unimpressed after windy conditions around the British circuit ruined his chances in Qualifying. Based off his performance in Practice, in which he finished P5, he expected to be in the hunt for pole.
However, the wind proved to be Hadjar’s undoing. Promising times in the opening two sectors didn’t materialise into a top five result but he was able to salvage P9 in the end. Speaking after the session, the Hitech Grand Prix driver admitted he struggled find the right balance through the circuit’s high-speed corners.
“I just didn’t put everything together. Obviously, there was a lot of wind direction change through the session, even through the lap,” he said.
“I think I didn’t adapt well to the car balance and in that final corner I had a huge moment which lost just a tenth-and-a-half but that cost me a few places. Really disappointed with that but I knew the car was working well the whole day so it’s looking good for the races.”
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Pushing his Hitech to its absolute limits, that moment wasn’t his only heart-stopping one during Qualifying. Early on, his quick reactions saved him from spinning off into the barriers at Copse.
Initially, the frustration he voiced over the radio appeared to have been caused by traffic up ahead, but Hadjar indicated that it was in fact due to gust of wind sending him wide. He added afterwards that the unpredictable conditions he faced left him lacking confidence behind the wheel – with Sector 1 proving to be particularly tricky.
“Turns 3 and 4 were definitely the worst. The wind was pushing a lot when braking into Turn 3, so I was having a lot of understeer through the corner, which didn’t help. It felt a bit different in every corner, mainly in the high-speed corners compared to this morning, so the confidence was not that great.”
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Lining up on the second row for Saturday’s Sprint Race, Hadjar’s optimistic about his chances of success and isn’t counting himself out of a second win in his rookie season.
“Starting from fourth, we are aiming for the race win – why not! Get some good points and the fastest lap as well. It’s a test for Sunday’s race.
“We’re looking to make moves, have a good start and hopefully we can get them and the win, or at least the podium. If the pace is there, then definitely the win!”