And so to Spa...
A Lot had happened in the week after the Hungary disaster, in the build-up in the Hungaroring paddock I had been touted to be replacing Pedro De La Rosa, who qualified last around the armco-less Monaco, but then roundly thrashed the opposition (and myself) to finish 10th.
I was put under the media microscope for Spa and had to prove myself, 9th in practice, things were looking good...
Saturday: 99% Chance of Rain.
Bugger, this makes all the difference, practicing to go quick in the dry meant the setup was out of whack for the utterly torrential Qualifying session, 16th is good for a HRT, but lately I'd been suprising everyone, Kolles wanted 15th out of me in qually once again, It didnt happen no matter how much I tried in the rain.
Sunday: Dry as Spa will ever get, and Sunnier than Bahrain will ever get.
Setting up the car to be better in the corners than anyone else pays off sometimes, Force India go looking for the speed, surely it helps to be quicker in braking areas aswell, and for the start of the race I was proving the theory correct, before my pitstop I was up to 9th, well to be exact I was up to 7th as I managed to out-brake 2 of the guys ahead of me, Rosberg was one of them, in all the excitement I forget who the other one was. However the team show my up by not letting me out of my pitbox until all the other cars behind me have got out ahead, you can stick this down to the fun-police ruining my well-earned position, now in 24th, I would have to re-earn it.
Obviously there were going to be people yet to stop, but I now had the less grippy tyres on, however, raising the front wing and favouring a more powerful mapping and hope that cosworth's 8 choirboys wouldnt let me down.
It became a case of one-piece-at-a-time, firstly, Felipe Massa, how he was in 23rd I'll never know, but had a cracking fight on the fast sweeping section leading up to the Final Chicane (what do you mean Bus-stop? it looks nothing like one now), and ahead I went, ahead of him, Buemi, after Eau Rouge I caught him, but had to wait until the braking area for Les Combes, and he defended the inside line, but as I discovered at the start of the race, I could easily take the opponoent around the outside of this corner, which I did, however on the 3rd part of Le Combes before the drop for Bruxelles (the hairpin, It had a turn name after all), Buemi went for a dive, however he ended up spinning and I didnt (?), Massa reacted to this by hitting into Buemi... however no time to wonder, I've got 12th place to chase after (thanks Kolles!!!
More pit stops by the guys ahead of me, and I was now in 14th, and chasing Webber, It seemed I would have to settle for a finishing place that HRTs would not really achieve (without me), however, there were slower people ahead of him, Including De La Rosa (!), foot down!..
Webber got by Pedro, at Pouhon, and I caught up to him on the exit to stavelot, but by Blanchimont I was ahead! This has been my best race by far, you can forget the 7th place at canada, all I had to do was stay in 7th, here I've had to work my way up to 12th and be ahead of De La Rosa by the end of the race, from 16th then 24th after the ludicrous pit-stop mess up (which we will forget after this), De Grassi was then ahead of me (!?!?) managed to get by him as if he wasnt there, was now behind webber on the last lap, who had difficulty getting by Barrichello, in 10th, and heading to the Final Chicane, Webber and Rubens tapped......had to get their bearings again, but too late, I WAS AHEAD...
10th Place!!! POINTS AGAIN!!!
Spa: Q 16th / R 10th
The Media decided to shut themselves up, Force India were impressed enough to put themselves into the rumour pot, or maybe someone else did it for them.
And so to Italy... home of the Anticlimax, watch out for me falling apart within 3 laps.