Hector Hurst has enjoyed a great start to his maiden season in the FIA Formula Two Championship, the 19 year old securing a consistent five points finishes in the opening six races in the competitive one-make championship.
The first meeting took place on home soil at Silverstone in mid-April, with the race weekend planned to be a base for the season, allowing Hurst to get an idea of the canvas he had to work with. Despite opting not to be too aggressive with his approach to each session, Hurst still put himself eighth and eleventh on the grid for the two races.
Both races were fairly similar for Hector, who saved his tyres and boosts until the end, while still racing hard for any easy positions he could gain. He finished seventh and tenth in the two encounters, a couple of positive results to cap off a great debut weekend.
Hurst said: “Silverstone was interesting and overall quite pleasing. It was a pretty good haul points wise and we learned a lot about where our strengths and weaknesses are over a qualifying session and race distance. On top of this, after last year, I was delighted to find that you can race people hard and not just get driven into! There is a lot more respect between the drivers here.”
A fortnight later, Hurst headed out to Portimao in Portugal for Rounds Three and Four and was high in confidence, looking to put everything he had learned from Silverstone into action. Qualifying didn't go entirely to plan for Hurst though, as a problem with the timing system and an unexpected hailstorm leaving him lower down the grid than hoped.
A conservative approach to the opening race saw him finish ninth, causing him to take a more aggressive line of attack for the second encounter. This worked well, with Hurst going as high as fifth before eventually finishing seventh to conclude another good weekend.
Hurst commented: “We were using this weekend to put everything we had learned from Silverstone into practice and see where it got us. The track was awesome to drive rain or shine, and we certainly got to try both! Overall, the improvements were there from Silverstone, but we just didn’t get everything together. With a bit more luck and experience, the weekend could have yielded champagne.”
In late May, the series moved on to Germany and the legendary Nurburgring circuit. Hurst headed into the meeting with high hopes after showing top three pace in Portugal, however a break-down in communication with his team early on in the week meant it ended up as a weekend to forget.
With a car with no mechanical grip or balance, Hurst could only qualify eleventh and twelfth. He ended up finishing a frustrating tenth and eleventh, the latter being his first non-points scoring finish of the campaign so far.
Hurst said: “Germany was not a good time for me. The break-down in communication with the team was a messy situation and through trying to solve this we had random results and our pace varied massively. The most disappointing thing for me was, it was the first time I had finished outside of the points in a race and it was at a time where I felt I could be challenging for so much more. 10th and 11th are not good places to be!”
Hurst, who currently lies eleventh in the Formula Two Championship standings, has been over the weekend with his team since and is now focusing on turning the weaknesses into strengths for the next two races at Spa-Francorchamps on the 23/24 June.
Hurst concluded: “Overall, this has been a good start to the season. There has been a great consistency, we’ve always known what we need to improve and have always been able to improve because of the consistency; we don’t often take steps back. I am happy with the progress we have made so far and I know that we can continue to climb for sure, now that University is over for the year and I have three race meetings worth of information and experience under my belt. I have a lot more tools to use to attack for the rest of the year and I am excited about that. I can't wait for Spa.”