Ralph Boschung remained positive despite an unlucky series of mechanical problems in the penultimate round of his rookie FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign at Jerez, Spain.
Following a brakes issue early in practice, Boschung was unable to turn any fast laps ahead of qualifying to help him get to know the Spanish circuit on his first visit.
“In free practice, we suffered brake issues which caused an unexpected spin and a stall, which ended my session,” Boschung said. “I knew that not being able to complete any laps was going to make qualifying difficult.”
The Campos Racing driver’s main focus in qualifying was to gain some experience on the Andalusian track, however a recurrence of the brakes issue scuppered any chance of a strong showing.
“We had a repetition of the same problem in qualifying, which caused front locking on both of my soft compound tyre sets, and ruined them in exactly the same way.
“This meant I had to qualify on the medium compound tyre, which is already 1-1.5 seconds per-lap slower, so I had no chance to show my full potential.
From the back of the grid, the Swiss driver made a good start in race one, climbing the order and battling for places towards the top 10, before an oil pressure issue robbed him of a potential points-finish.
“I knew the race would be tough from last, especially at Jerez which is very difficult to overtake at,” Boschung said. “My start was good and I was in a tense battle for some points. Unfortunately, we had to retire with 15 laps to go, which was hugely disappointing as the two-stop strategy would’ve given us a few more spots.”
For race two, Boschung attempted to make a bold alternative strategy work, which would allow him to climb the order, however his hopes were dashed on the final lap when an engine failure cost him a strong finish.
“We chose a different strategy in race two as we had no tyres left after the issues earlier in the weekend,” the Campos driver said. “It would have been ideal to be able to make a pit-stop, but we couldn’t so I managed the tyres at the start.
“Later in the race I was pushing harder, lying in 14th position, which was decent in the circumstances and then my engine failed, just four corners from the chequered flag.
“It’s been a very challenging weekend, but we can take a lot of positives from it because those problems will push the team to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I’ve learned a lot despite not getting as much running as we hoped this weekend, and our pace in general matched the teams further up the field. Now I’m looking forward to the final race and seeing what steps we can take there.
“Once again, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Malbuner, the leading meat business in Switzerland, with its newest snack innovation, the Pocket Sandwich, who helped me get this fantastic opportunity, as well as the Valais-based building company CP3 and Patrick Polli, Platinum Fighter Sales, Avanthay Real Estate and B63. I am also extremely grateful to the ‘Club 50’ members for their valuable support.”
The final round of the championship takes place at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, on November 24-26.
Image copyright: FIA Formula 2 Championship