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BERNHARD: Silverstone Debrief

Porsche’s Timo Bernhard files his first Sportscar365 column…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

After all the winter testing and pre-season preparation, it was great to finally get back racing. At the Prologue in Paul Ricard we got good mileage and a few long runs in and gained some more understanding of the new car which was important for our set up work and the preparations for Silverstone.

The first race of the season is always busy with lots of commitments the team getting back into the race rhythm and also the fans and media who are interested to see the changes in the cars over the winter.

The practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning are an important part of the weekend. I was in the car a lot doing set up work, long runs and tyre choices in preparation for qualifying and the race.

With three drivers in one car, obviously not everyone gets the same amount of seat time but we have a completely open communication between us drivers and talk about details and exchange information to help one another.

We’ve only raced together for one season but we fully trust each other and have a great spirit on our car which is important for a strong team.

Brendon and Mark were on driving duty in qualifying on Saturday. When you’re ‘on the bench’ in qualifying you support the team more in a representative role and try to motivate them as best you can.

If you’re not driving you see things from the outside which your teammates won’t notice as they’re focussed on their job.

Despite not getting to drive I was still able to contribute and help my teammates with small suggestions. The car was fast and the guys did an amazing job putting us on pole.

On race day you’re always excited and pumped to get out on track. We love what we do and want to contribute to the team’s effort and it’s never easy having to watch your car retire, but that’s motorsport and we have all experienced that many times in our careers.

It’s important to look into the problem and understand why it happened. A lot of this is done already in the background before we meet for our post race debriefs.

Because our car retired so early on in the race and only Mark had been driving, only he was really able to give feedback about the performance of the car and how the race went up until then.

Even though I’ve not had any time in the car during the race you still learn a lot when you’re listening in on the radio of the sister car and look at the challenges they faced throughout the race.

Apart from one point we scored with clinching pole in qualifying we’ve left Silverstone empty handed and the retirement puts us on the back foot in the championship. We will for sure work hard and keep pushing for a great result in Spa in two weeks time.

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