But I am definitely happier after the race weekend at Pau than I was after the last round at Monza, where we had really struggled.
We worked really hard as a team between races and came to Pau feeling confident that the lack of pace from Monza would be a thing of the past. And that's how it turned out. Pau is a really cool street circuit in the south of France under the Pyrenees. It has some big kerbs and some places where you have to be incredibly tough on the car – it's not easy.
'Qualifying was close and I was just 2/10ths off being on the front row for race one and race two.'
As it was, I had a couple of issues on the key laps and didn't produce the performance that I should have. With overtaking not easy at Pau (one of the main opportunities is the safety car restart), qualifying is key and I should have done a better job.
Race one ended in the tyres when three of us went off with a surprising lap of grip at the same corner in one lap. Perhaps we were pushing too hard but obviously there is not enough space to get away with it, although I did so nearly catch the slide. Race two on Sunday morning was straightforward: I made a really good start (something we have improved substantially this year) to move up a position but that was pretty much all the opportunity we had. Race three ended annoyingly with a go / no go concertina effect at the safety car restart and an impact that broke my suspension.
So – it sounds odd but I'm not unhappy leaving Pau, although of course you're always disappointed when you don't win. We have taken a step forward on pace and understanding and it was good to see my team mate Ralf Aron get his first podium of the year. We will keep working hard and be aiming even higher at Budapest, I am sure.