Raoul recovers to seventh in Budapest

South African Raoul Hyman produced a fighting drive from 14th to finish Sunday’s Hungarian GP3 Grand Prix seventh and salvage a few vital championship points from a challenging weekend. Hyman’s hopes of a strong weekend in Hungary were dashed by a combination of not getting a hot lap in before a red flag prevented the race winner from claiming a probable top 10 grid slot Saturday morning. 

“I was second quickest in Friday practice, so I was confident of qualifying well,” Raoul explained. “I made a mistake and then found traffic so never got a lap in on my first run, but I was still confident thanks to my Friday pace, so I pitted to prepare for my second run. 

“We left it late, because the track always rubbers in, but when we went out I had yellows in two sectors and then the red flag ended qualifying. “That was a disaster — with hindsight I should have made sure of a banker lap in on my first run, so I’m upset with myself because I knew I had a fast car under me and I should have allowed for the possibility of a red flag.”

Raoul started Race 1 from a lowly 18th place, but worked his way up to 11th when he pushed hard in an effort to steal the final points-paying 10th place, but he asked too much of his well-used tyres and ran wide conceding three places on the penultimate lap. “I made good progress from 18th to 11th and it was worth pushing for that final point, but the grip had gone and I ran wide at Turn 4 where I was punished by the new kerbs and dropped back to finish 14th. 

“I apologised to the Team for losing the places, but they also felt it was worth the risk to try take that final point.”

Raoul started Race 2 in 14th and produced a fighting drive to finish 7th: “My Sunday pace made me rue the lost opportunity in Qualifying even more. “I reckon I could have finished even better had it not been for the Virtual Safety Car, which helped me to run out of time in the end. 

“We made some mistakes this weekend, but I definitely learned some hard lessons and we need to reflect a little more on strategy during the four-week summer break. “I want to thank Campos for a fast car this weekend — we have definitely recovered from our troubled outing at Silverstone.”

GP3 returns to Spa on 25 August.