AHEAD OF THE MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
How would you sum up your Australian GP weekend?
I think the first weekend was challenging, but we learnt many things. Also for me adapting to a new team was crucial. Of course, the race wasn’t as I would’ve liked but it happened this way and now I’m just looking forward to the challenges ahead. It’s good Malaysia is so soon. After Australia, I wanted to leave the weekend behind me as soon as possible and start focusing on Malaysia. We have good potential which we will be looking to use and hope to extract.
What is the best moment for a driver on a lap of the Sepang Circuit?
That you never feel cold! It’s an interesting challenging track, there are some high speed sections, and those high speed sections are the most interesting ones. For me, Malaysia means a lot. I won my first singleseater race ever there about five years ago I think, and last year, another points scoring race for me, my second race and second points so it was very good, good memories, but it’s a tough race and challenging race for a driver because it’s known for being so hot. This is why we train quite hard and get our arses kicked during the winter season by our trainers! Sepang is one of those races where you see where you are in terms of your physical preparation.
What’s the best way you deal with the humidity?
You have to be prepared and get acclimatised. There really is no special secret though!
What’s the best thing to do after getting out of the car to deal with the heat?
Try to cool yourself down and basically drink liquids and refuel the amount you lost during the race. A cold wet towel helps and feels nice.
How are you feeling going into Malaysia?
I’m feeling good coming into Malaysia, I know we have a lot of things to improve on and I’m optimistic that we can achieve some of those in Malaysia, which will give us some more performance. I’m just hanging out waiting to drive now, but it’s good.
The season has started now and I think if anyone had any first race jitters they’re gone and I think Malaysia should run a lot smoother for everyone.
What’s your favourite overtaking spot at Sepang?
The two basic ones are the two straights that loop back on each other, so the turn 1 straight and then the last corner. Those are the two obvious ones but also into the turn 9 hairpin. That’s pretty good!
What’s the best approach to overtake on the straights?
It’s an interesting one because you can pass someone on the first straight, so into the last corner, but obviously they can get you back, so it’s one of those ones where if you have an opportunity you go for it, but remembering that they can always get you back with DRS 100m later.
Sepang sees some hefty rainstorms, what’s the best thing about racing in the wet?
I think racing in the wet is a bit of a love/hate relationship. Sometimes you have a really good wet race and all of a sudden you’re the rain master and other times it just doesn’t quite work. Generally I think it’s a really good challenge, visibility is a lot worse and the car is obviously a lot harder to manage. I think if you master the rain conditions it is a very satisfying feeling.
What’s the best way to deal with the heat in the car?
I think once you’re in the car it’s hard, the work is done before getting in it. Hydration is really, really important and keeps you cooler. The more hydrated you are, the more your body dispatches the heat. And do some heat training before the event to make it feel like it’s not as hot, but once you’re in the car, it’s like a sauna and you can’t get out of it.