PREMA goes back to winning ways in Belgium
PREMA Racing went back to winning ways at Spa-Francorchamps as round 7 of the 2022 series was completed at the legendary Belgian venue. The team came out of the weekend with one win in race 1 and a third place in race 2 to increase its lead in the driver and team championships.
In race 1, Dino Beganovic delivered a lights-to-flag win from pole, bouncing back from a challenging weekend at the Hungaroring after dominating qualifying 2. In the second race, with the grid set by qualifying 1, he started from P3 and delivered another clean run to cross the finish line in P3, ahead of teammate Paul Aron who lost momentum when he was illegally passed by another competitor during a safety-car situation.
The penalty assessed for the incident didn't change the situation for Aron who had to settle for P4. In Race 1 he had fought back to P4 despite being punted by another driver which resulted in a bent suspension. The Estonian is still in full championship contention though, sitting a few points behind P2.
Sebastian Montoya showed positive pace but an early off in race 1 and a troubled qualifying position for race 2 left him with no points and eager for revenge in the upcoming event at Barcelona.
Hamda Al Qubaisi also had an impressive run, making her first start at Spa-Francorchamps. The Emirati had really positive runs in practice and qualifying, and even though her race 2 was curtailed when she was caught in a multi-car contact, she highlighted a great progression.
#3 - Paul Aron
"In the end, it was a disappointing weekend because we lost some points to the championship lead, but Dino did a very good job, so I applaud him. I think we had a great pace this weekend. We had pole in Q1, and we were second in the group in Q2, so I was quite happy with the qualifying performance. We were a bit unlucky in race 1, we missed the set-up, and I also had a broken wishbone, so our pace was compromised, and lost out on good points again. For race 2, we were unlucky again, getting overtaken during the safety car and not getting the position back. After that, my chances were done as other cars had new tyres and I was passed. However, the car performance in race 2 was much much better. We had a lot of potential exactly like in Hungaroring but also a lot of situations out of my control that took away our results. I want to get everything under control, and I’m sure we will have great pace again at Red Bull Ring."
#18 - Dino Beganovic
"It's amazing to bounce back this way with a double podium, a win, and a third place. Especially with the win, I think it's really nice to have made it after experiencing such a difficult weekend in Hungaroring. We showed everybody we are back on the right track and it's really good to go into the holidays with a great result."
#58 - Sebastian Montoya
“Honestly the weekend overall was quite disappointing. A bit of mistakes on my side in qualifying 1, especially then in the testing we were among the quickest but I didn't manage to put it all together even though I was one of the quickest or even the quickest of the team. In Q1 I kind of put myself in a difficult situation, it was a bit of a rookie mistake but the speed was quite good. I still managed to salvage P7, it wasn't the greatest result as I think it could have been P3 quite easily. For Q2 I did a bit better job although I made a little mistake that cost me a shot at the pole, but I was happy with how it went after Q1. In race 1, I got a good start but was driven into the grass, and then ended up off later the same lap. The speed was there, and after that, I managed to pass some people. I wanted to see how the car was in dirty air and it was really good. For race 2, one of the tyre sets from qualy wasn't the best and we used it for the race I was starting further behind. I eventually finished in the same position where I started. We had the speed the whole week, one of the best races we had this year with the balance and it was really disappointing not to get any points. I think we could have had a chance for the win or the podium yesterday. Not the best results but we will push for after the summer break.”
#88 - Hamda Al Qubaisi
"I was very happy with the pace in practice and qualy. Coming into the weekend it was all new to me as I had never been to this track, so it was another learning curve. However, I quickly fell in love with the track and had the pace immediately. A few mistakes cost me some positions in qualifying which would have been good, but it was still my best qualifying this year and positive steps on one of the toughest tracks on the calendar. In race 1 I struggled with the pace a bit, but as soon as I started to understand the car more, it was easier, and I really found pace towards the end. In race 2 I was confident with the car and tyres. I felt like I could do a good race but I got caught in contact and it was out of my hands, I couldn’t control what happened to me. I’m really happy about the weekend and I think that we can work forward for Red Bull Ring."