Jamie Chadwick has shared insight into her struggles during the second Formula Regional European Championship round at Paul Ricard, which limited her to a best finish of ninth.
The W Series champion and Williams Formula 1 junior took a podium finish in the season opener at Misano three weeks ago, but was off the pace at Paul Ricard while her Prema team-mates Arthur Leclerc and Gianluca Petecof shared the wins.
In the back-to-back Friday qualifying sessions that set the grid for the thee races in France she claimed a best starting spot of ninth, 1.7 seconds off the pace of her pole-setting team-mates. A similar single-lap deficit existed in the races too.
“[It was] a combination of issues. There’s a few things I struggled with at the beginning of the weekend. My first time here, so obviously I’m learning the circuit and everything,” Chadwick told Formula Scout after race three.
“Just a combination of little things adding up. I think the weekend kind of never really got going for me which is just frustrating. I think really we shouldn’t be where we were this weekend, but like I said there’s a lot of factors that kind of play into that.”
In race one, Chadwick made a bad start that led to her finishing a distant 10th. It was a recurring issue that the 22-year-old put down to clutch feel – an issue which also cost her team-mate Petecof the win in race three after he lurched off the line from pole.
“My feeling of the clutch was really different to Misano,” explained Chadwick.
“So I had three not very good starts, which in comparison to Misano was a frustration because we were really good off the line at Misano. Something to look at definitely, with the car, and myself and the circuit. There’s a lot to analyse, and hopefully we can get back to where I feel like we should be at the Red Bull Ring.
“We mainly [made set-up changes] Friday to Saturday.
“It’s a very physical circuit, so we had to adapt the car for that and me with the higher grip of the circuit, and it is great that the team did an amazing job to help me with that.
“Then we got lost with a few other things, so definitely not an ideal weekend but hopefully we can bounce back stronger.”
Prema fills the top three in the FREC points with Ferrari juniors Petecof and Leclerc, and Danish driver Oliver Rasmussen, while Chadwick is seventh in the standings with just over a quarter of the points the leader has scored.