I present myself early for noise testing. We have been told that we will get into qualifications straight from the pitlane, so I go for the first spot ensuring that I will get a clear run until I get overtaken by a faster car. So far so good, I have a plan.
The qualification has started and we are racing frantically around the track. I push as usual without having the feeling of being effective. Speed can be deceiving, a fast smooth line can seem slow and vice versa. A red flag is shown and we get back in the pit lane.
I am shown the live timings with my name on top! No way!!! Is this gonna be my week-end? Should I check where the podium is? Stop dreaming!!!
The lights go green but my car does not start. Everybody goes and some mechanics push me. Thank you guys! The engine thinks about it … and finally fires.
Now I am following Guy and trying to find some space. I keep catching him, slowing down to create room before catching him again. This strategy does not work. Time is ticking. Finally I get a chance for one more lap. I push like mad down Paddock, -0.5 sec off my best! Good boy. Around Druids hairpin -0.68 sec. Go on boy… full steam ahead around Graham Hill Bend. I favour the middle line through the kink and just dab my brakes.
Time’s up. We get back in.
Am I in pole? Of course not! Even you did not believe it. As time goes on drivers push harder. The better ones get better times on their final lap. I qualify 12th. Not bad, even though I am disappointed with this result. I will need to implement my cunning plan: brave through Paddock Hill Bend (huge downhill) / and outbreak around Druids (hairpin) or in other words: go for a bungee and slide.