Max' engineer Rik Vernooij happy with Spa weekend
Published on 26 June 2014 by Stefan Meens
With three victories for Max Verstappen, a double points finish for Jules Szymkowiak and two P3s for Gustavo Menezes, Max’ engineer Rik Vernooij is happy with Van Amersfoort Racing’s progress. “At the beginning of the season I said that if we continued the way we work, winning will become part of the learning curve. If you start a season well and are able to progress, like Max has, a weekend like Spa-Francorchamps will happen. Everything came together wonderfully. We carried plenty of speed in the car and Max showed some fantastic racing.”
Before the team headed to Spa-Francorchamps for the fifth round of the FIA Formula 3 European championship, Van Amersfoort Racing and its three drivers travelled to Monza for a two-day test. Rik explains: “The Monza test was very useful. It gave our drivers an excellent opportunity to get used to driving with a low downforce, low drag set-up. As we arrived at Spa, the drivers new what to expect despite the cars having a different feel. This resulted straightaway in good lap times in free practice.”
The long straights in the first and third sector provide excellent slipstreaming opportunities. This means Spa-Francorchamps is a difficult track to establish a race lead on and this resulted in some serious on-track action. “By now I’ve figured out Max is very strong when it comes to racing. He really thinks his moves through and delivers when it’s needed.”
“The fights with Esteban Ocon were pretty intense and the Frenchman received an official warning. But Max drove perfect. He stayed ahead and it made the victory even better! So I can’t say anything other than that I’m really happy and satisfied. After we’ve won the last race of the weekend, there was a sense of relief, but my attention pretty quickly shifts towards the upcoming weekend at the Norisring. Nevertheless I’m very happy with the Spa weekend”, concludes Vernooij.