(October 7, 2021)- It’s fair to say Russia didn’t go my way. Getting stuck behind Mazepin early on pretty much put me out of contention, but the rain on the final laps was more of a problem.
It wasn’t caught on TV, but I stayed out in the hope of benefiting from being able to keep the car on track – but then the rain came down much heavier. I locked up, went off, and lightly tapped the barriers. It wasn’t much of a crash, but the rear wing endplates were damaged and we opted to retire the car.
Those final laps had a lot in common with last year’s Turkish Grand Prix, where there was so little grip it was like driving on ice. You almost couldn’t call it a racing track.
Thankfully the organizers have treated the tarmac since then, and the surface has had a year to settle down. How much better it will be remains to be seen, and in that sense everybody is heading into the unknown, but I’m confident it won’t be as much of a shock as last year when my main thought was ‘no, this can’t be real…’
After the weekend I have more Turkey planned – because on Monday it’s Canadian Thanksgiving. Post-race debriefs and simulator work mean I’ll spend the day itself in the UK, but a few days later I’ll head to Canada for a slightly delayed family Thanksgiving dinner (thanks Mom and Dad…).
It’s a really special day for my family, and one we couldn’t celebrate last year because of the travel limitations. It’ll be great to get around a table with everybody again – and the first time I’ve managed to get back home to Canada since June last year!