Fernando, let’s imagine a situation where in Bahrain three cars are right one behind the other. What can happen?
The mobile rear wing can only be used on one straight on a lap, so the most important thing would be to arrive at the last corner with less than 1.5 seconds behind the car in front, which is really difficult. I don’t see the possibility of many overtaking manoeuvres. I think that it will still be difficult to overtake. And overtaking will still include taking risk.
You will have one month and a half with 15 testing days. How will you use the time when you’re not in the car?
I think that also the days I’m not testing will be very important and I’ll be at the track anyway, when Felipe is in the car, following the tests and the development. The data he can collect will be also useful for me and vice versa.
Do you think that all the commands on the steering wheel take a little bit the fun out of driving?
I think more than anything else that all these commands make driving more difficult. It’s much more difficult than you can imagine driving a Formula 1 single-seater. As of this year there are two more buttons: to control the wing and the Kers. Driving a GT is much more fun and you can concentrate more on driving.
Do you have your perfect weight to drive this year? The driving position is higher than last year. Will this change your style?
I started with my preparations and I count on it to be 100% in shape for Australia, because we want to be perfectly fit for the races in Australia, Malaysia and China. Last week I rode my bike a lot, went to swim, ran and did exercises for my neck. The weight is fine. I don’t think that I’ll have any problems with the Kers, also because the car’s minimum weight has been upped to 640 kg. The seat and the driving position won’t change the driver’s perspective too much.
Could the new parameters like the tyre wear influence your driving style?
I don’t know. We still have to test. We’ll find out if the higher tyre wear is just mere speculation. Naturally one pit stop instead of two means a lot in a race, because for one stop you loose 25 seconds, which you might regain in 30 laps.
What pressure do you apply to yourself? Which team do you think can set up a car, which can compete with Ferrari?
The pressure I put on myself is high. The motivation in the first months of the year is the same as every year. I think I’m part of a unique team and also this presentation proofs it. The other teams will present their cars at the first test, just before they start to drive, and nobody will say anything, neither the drivers nor the Chairmen.
To answer your question I think that Mercedes might have the possibility to build a competitive car, but also McLaren and Red Bull; we have to fight with them.
How much of yourself is in the car for 2011?
When I arrived in 2010 I found a very different car compared to the one I had driven before. This year I contributed and I think that also my driving style had an influence on the development. Now I also know the people in my team and I’ve got a good relationship with them and I’m always putting them under pressure.