You’ve had some good results in Brazil, do you enjoy racing there?
Interlagos is one of my favourite races, the atmosphere at the track is fantastic. The circuit sits in a bowl, giving it the feel of an amphitheatre. It’s like Brands Hatch in the UK, where the crowd sits almost on top of the cars and it results in a fantastic atmosphere on race day. The race has been good to me because I’ve won it twice (2009 and 2011) and I just enjoy being in Sao Paulo.
What is the track like to drive?
The track is at a high altitude, so it’s tough for the engines and the anti-clockwise direction makes it pretty physical for the drivers. There are more left-hand circuits at the back-end of the calendar than there used to be, so our necks are conditioned for them, but it’s still a good workout.
How do you feel heading into your final F1 Grand Prix weekend?
I feel ready for Brazil and am looking forward to a bit of a different chapter in the future. There would be something wrong if I was disappointed to be finishing, because that’s the reason I’ve made my decision, as a sportsman or woman that’s why we all make those decisions: because in the end the fire is not quite what it was, and you’ve got to accept that. So the time is good for me, one to go and we’ll put on a very good performance, I believe I can do that in Brazil. I’m happy I’m still driving pretty well, making my mark so to speak, but I’ve had my time. I’ve enjoyed it and achieved a few things, so let the guys do their thing in the future.
Can you sum up the race in Brazil?
This race is always crazy! It is actually a very short lap and it is quite difficult to overtake at Interlagos. The race is long at over 70 laps and it puts a lot of load on your neck because of the long left corners, so the centrifugal forces pull in an unfamiliar counter-clockwise direction.
With the win in Austin you set the record for most consecutive wins in a single season, breaking Schumacher and Ascari’s record, how does it feel?
It’s phenomenal; it’s very difficult to understand. It’s one of those records that I think was meant to last forever. I don’t get in the car thinking about records, what makes me jump into the car is just to enjoy, I love driving. Every lap is different and every race is different and to step out of the car and be completely satisfied, to have got a lot of good laps in, it’s a great feeling that you have at the end of it. If on top of that you are successful, then it’s that little extra that makes it taste so sweet, as well as the fact that you are given a nice trophy and get to spray the champagne.