The image of a crestfallen Hannes Arch on the Ascot turf will live long in the memory of every Red Bull Air Race fan. And nobody was more upset than the pilot himself. But after that disappointing result in the UK, the Austrian and his team will now want to push to get back on top.
The mechanical trouble at Ascot began in Qualifying when Arch's engine wouldn't start for the second run. His technician Nigel Dickinson worked late into the night and believed he had fixed the problem.
On Race Day Arch posted the fastest time in the Round of 14, but the engine wouldn't turn over in the Round of 8 and he was out of the race. "We had an ignition problem and the engine refused to start, so I had no chance to compete," said Arch, "It was really frustrating to be honest. I can't blame any individual, it was our mistake as a team and we are definitely treating the subject of having the aircraft prepared to race with more intensity from now on," he explained.
An athlete's mindset is one of the most important weapons they have in their armoury. It's not about the problems they encounter, it's how they recover and move forward. Arch now faces the heightened pressure of flying in front of his home fans, and will have to push himself harder than before. "It's more demanding for me being my home race. I put myself under more pressure. I like pressure, but to cope I need to have energy," he said. "I think it's really important to have the right energy levels, so after Ascot I did some training in the mountains and also made sure I got some downtime," he added.
When Arch is in the right frame of mind you can almost guarantee his performances will see him place high in the rankings. "I've proved to myself this season that when I get in the right mindset – which is a combination of the right levels of motivation, aggressiveness, coolness – I'm fast. Once I'm there the key is not to make a mistake. There's a lot more to it than just racing fast!" Arch concluded.