Jazeman Jaafar and ISR Racing managed to salvage points in both Formula Renault 3.5 Series races at the Hungaroring after issues during free practice affected his track time early on. For a one-driver team, track time is essential if they are hoping for a good weekend.
DRS and braking issues affected his Friday morning running, with only ten laps being able to be completed, but the ISR mechanics sorted the problems out so Jaafar could improve to seventh fastest.
Jaafar’s Saturday morning qualifying session looked to be going well, with the Malaysian driver setting the initial pace. But after a red flag period, he was not able to improve his time and fell to eleventh as a result. Rain affected the Saturday race, and Jaafar raced hard to claim tenth place and the final point on offer, finishing on the tail of Comtec Racing’s debutant Esteban Ocon.
Sunday morning’s qualifying session was much like the first, with the Malaysian setting the early pace, but once again after a red flag, he fell down the order, this time all the way down to sixteenth. He made a good start to move up to twelfth, and moved up to eighth by the end after an inspired early pit stop enabled him to use the benefit of fresh tyres to gain track position over some of his rivals.
Jaafar believes that his pace during the races shows that he should be challenging for more podium finishes, having taken top three finishes in both Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps earlier this season. He is focusing now on the remaining races of the season at Paul Ricard and Jerez, hoping for better results.
“The weekend didn’t start too well, but finished much better,” said Jaafar after the conclusion of weekend in Hungary. “Not having the best track time in the qualifying sessions hurt us this weekend, but I think I proved my pace in the races, particularly in the second one in the dry.
“There’s no doubt that we can be mixing it even further forward, but scoring points in both races was good, I just always want more. I know there’s more to come from me and the car, so that will be my focus for the last two rounds.”