Ascot has provided one of the most exciting Race Days we have ever seen in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Here's what the pilots thought:
1st Paul Bonhomme
"I'd like to say thanks to the team – without the team it wouldn't have been possible. We did a lot of work pre-season and during the season and it seems to be paying off. The team members are the ones that have to do all the hard work, I just have to point the raceplane in the right direction. I thoroughly enjoyed the crowd, it didn't add pressure, but could've caused a distraction. I just had to know where to look so I didn't get distracted. There's so much to do in your head with the flying so you can't allow distractions to get in your way. "
2nd Matt Hall
"Second is a good position to be in. I consistently said my game plan was to get to the Final 4 and get to the podium and gather points. It's now time to enjoy the fact that we can get to the Final 4 and time to start targeting the first place. I removed the stop in the Final 4 and took a little bit more risk in the track, and as it turned out I did get that penalty. I'm working on a plan and it seems to be successful for us at the moment. We are a young racing team and we're learning at every race. We're now putting the other teams under pressure and I can target Paul specifically."
3rd Yoshihide Muroya
"We got a new raceplane in Chiba and new computers, but we didn't have much time in Chiba, Rovinj and Budapest. We've been testing here, everything has been coming together and we're getting ready for the podium now. This podium is different from the last one, we have set up a new system here with our new raceplane and we were ready for the podium today. We'll be in good shape for the next race."
4th Nicolas Ivanoff
"Last year was better. I made my only mistake of the weekend in the Final 4, so it's not a good result compared to last year. In the Final 4 we had to push and I tried to fly as clean as possible, but I was a little high. I made that little mistake and it cost me a place on the podium, but that's life."
5th Nigel Lamb
"I was lucky in the Round of 14, but that's happened before. I have a really good team that keeps me in a bubble and away from distractions. I've been concentrating on getting better lines, but I made a stupid mistake. I prefer the land tracks because there's a better sense of speed, you have more depth perception and more reference points so you can follow your lines better."
6th Peter Besenyei
"I'm enjoying my flights more and more and enjoying the raceplane. I'm getting better and better with every flight, but Yoshi was faster. We're talking about 0.1s separating people, I don't know where I'll be able to find that time, it's so tight. Ascot is amazing, flying between the trees... I really enjoy it. I'm now looking towards Spielberg, the difference in elevation between the gates is so varied it's a really technical track – I'm looking forward to it.
7th Martin Sonka
"I don't know what happened, we need to look at the data. The engine felt underpowered. I couldn't pull as hard as I wanted. I felt I flew well in the track, it was just the raceplane that wasn't performing. I'm now looking forward to Spielberg. It's like a home race for me, so hopefully I'll see a lot of Czech fans there cheering me on."
8th Hannes Arch
"The weekend was good from a pilot point of view. I was on top and found the right line really quickly, but it's really frustrating if you don't get your chance to fly. I think it's a different problem from the engine trouble we had yesterday. I thought it was my mistake and that I had caused the problem. I blamed myself, but it looks like it might be a technical issue. This has made me really hungry for the next race – and it's good to be hungry at your home race."
9th Michael Goulian
"After being the fastest loser until the last run in the Round of 14 was really hard to take. I went a little wide in the chicane and that cost me time. We want to find another gear on Race Day. My raceplane is good in the slow speed turns. We were getting the fastest split times after Gates 1, 2 and 3, so I like this track, it suits us. Sometimes you get through and sometimes you don't. I left a little bit but there on the table today and Nicolas flew a great run."
10th Mathias Dolderer
"We checked our lines and they're almost identical to yesterday. I think the fuel ratio was different and I lost power. If that's not what happened then I don't have an answer. The mixture is something that's done manually in the cockpit, maybe we need to look into getting an electric one for the rest of the season."
11th Juan Velarde
"Not having flown this track before was a huge disadvantage for François and me and not having the first two training sessions didn't help. We were already behind the other 12 pilots. It's a difficult track with lots of trees and obstacles. With more time in the track I know I could've gone faster. I'm really happy with this weekend though. As a team we're getting better and really improving, I think it's been my best race so far."
12th Kirby Chambliss
"My times were close to Nigel and when I heard a 1:10 I thought I could lighten up on the run. I thought I put in a good time, but it seems like I was on the wrong side of luck. I held the line a little to long and was trying to line up for the straight run to the Finish Gate and I must've got a little high. I should've just concentrated on the Gate in front of me and I would've been in the Round of 8. The lack of training doesn't worry me. I was super comfortable in the track and apart from the first run I was flying penalty free, right up until the Round of 14, which is when it matters."
13th Pete McLeod
"It was a tough weekend and at Ascot I seem to have a problem with pylons. It just wasn't a good race for me. The land tracks are great, I love flying over land. The angles weren't tough here, but my lines were off. I wasn't racing against Matt in the Round of 14, I was just trying to put down a good time, but after my pylon hit, I'd pretty much handed Matt the heat."
14th François Le Vot
"I don't know the reason why my smoke didn't work. As soon as I landed we checked it and it seems to be flowing correctly. I will have to write down and remember to check my smoke system before I take off. It was a big disadvantage to only discover the track for the first time yesterday. I was happy with my flight yesterday and I had nothing to lose today, so I went for it against Peter. It was a good day."