"Unlucky" Fenestraz relieved to conclude rookie season

Jamie Klein
·2-min read

The French-Argentinian concluded his rookie campaign in Japan's premier single-seater series with Kondo Racing last weekend at Fuji Speedway with a trouble-free run to eighth place, for only his third finish of a year plagued by ill fortune.

He scored 13 of his 19 points in the opening round of the year at Motegi, where he qualified second and finished third, before suffering three DNFs in a row - two as a result of first-corner incidents at Okayama and Sugo and then a wheel becoming detached at Autopolis.

Sacha Fenestraz, Kondo Racing

Sacha Fenestraz, Kondo Racing <span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
Sacha Fenestraz, Kondo Racing Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Fenestraz said he was satisfied to end the year with a perfect record in qualifying against Kondo teammate Kenta Yamashita, but highlighted one-lap pace as a major area of improvement to focus on for the 2021 season.

"Qualifying was terrible for both of us," said Fenestraz. "We had absolutely no grip on new tyres. We have a lot of work to do, we need to push quite a bit the team to progress.

"We started the season well [in qualifying], but towards the end of the season it’s been bad. At least we know what to work on for next season."

Despite a difficult first season in Super Formula, Fenestraz said he was pleased with his first season in general as a factory Toyota driver in Japan, which also included a first season in SUPER GT's GT500 ranks with TOM'S that yielded fourth in the championship. 

"It has been a great season," said the 21-year-old. "Super Formula started well at Motegi and then since then I’ve just been unlucky. SUPER GT was up and down but generally good.

"I’ve learned a lot, also how to be a professional driver, which is much different to paying for a drive. I’m happy the year is over because Super Formula has been very tough, but I’m really looking forward next year to putting everything I’ve learned into practice."