After difficult back-to-back weekends in France and Austria, the MP Motorsport driver set out his intentions of putting the troubles behind him by setting the fourth fastest time in practice, before going on to qualify in 14th position.
Opting to start the Feature Race on Pirelli’s harder compound tyres, the Swiss driver chose to run a longer stint in order to vault himself into the points.
After pitting on lap 22, the GP3 race-winner rejoined the circuit in 14th position on new, soft tyres, allowing him to scythe through the field to come home ninth, earning two points and also setting the second fastest lap of the race.
“We chose to run to the alternative strategy in race one as we felt it gave us a chance at scoring some points,” the 20-year-old explained. “I think if I chose to push a bit harder at the start we could have finished inside the top eight. I expected the degradation of the tyres would be higher, and managing tyre-wear was going to be more of a factor. Focusing too much on that cost me a couple of positions, and by the time I started to push from the middle of the race it was too late to make up more ground.”
Starting Sunday’s Sprint Race from ninth, Boschung ran strongly within the top-10, matching pace with his competitors ahead of him, the Swiss driver going on to earn another point after finishing eighth.
“The second race was very difficult to make up ground, as everybody was trying to preserve their tyres,” Boschung added. “The big positives for me were to score more points, and to be able to maintain a pace on par with the cars ahead of me throughout. At the end of the race I was quicker than Albon and De Vries over a full lap, but on the straights I couldn’t follow them, even with DRS. I think we’re down 20 or 30 BHP compared to some teams, so to make up for it I have to push like crazy during the races. I’m satisfied with this weekend overall, hopefully the series of bad luck we’ve had with technical problems recently is behind us. We still struggled with reliability, but we were able to work around the issues and finish both races inside the points, which is the best we could have done this weekend. We made a good step this weekend in terms of car set-up, as the team have worked very hard over the last three race weekends. Next time out in Budapest I’ll have a new engine, which I hope will take me to the next step and bring us up to the level of some of the teams ahead of us.”
The eighth round of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship takes place at the Hungaroring, Hungary (27-29 July).
Press release Ralph Boschung