AHEAD OF THE AUSTRIAN AND BRITISH GRANDS PRIX
“I had a really good result in Austria last year coming second. Before the race it was a bit unknown how the tires would play out so I just tried to feel my way in and keep life in them. This allowed me to complete a one stop strategy, which was always going to be a gamble, but in the end worked out really well. This year we have to make sure the car is working well in the corners in order to be up with the front runners and then just try and be as competitive as possible on the straights, it’s always a bit of a compromise. The fans at the Red Bull Ring are always extremely passionate and of course there was a big Dutch turn out last year which is always special for me to see, plenty of caravans and orange around the area. I already
tried my hand at caravanning at the track earlier this year, that was such good fun to be able to tow a caravan in an Aston Martin, and drift it.
“Heading straight to Silverstone the weekend after will hopefully again bring me a good result. With the new cars and regulations I think it will be really physical so I’m looking forward to testing myself there. I always enjoy driving Silverstone and now with the new cars I think Becketts and Maggotts are going to be the stand out corners and a bit different than last season. Flat out through Copse is also something that gets the heart beating every lap, it’s a unique circuit and one I am always looking forward to on the calendar.”
“We get the full Red Bull hospitality when we’re at the Austrian Grand Prix and you definitely feel part of a big family as a Red Bull athlete. We have done some pretty crazy things at the track, wearing the lederhosen race suit is something different and a few weeks ago Max and I raced caravans there. To be honest I’m not sure they would have let us do that anywhere else as the caravans were destroyed, but we loved it!
“At any kind of power circuit like Austria you want to be smooth and get good exits in order to give yourself the best chance on the long straights. The compromise is always the aero package. In the middle to the end of the lap you want more downforce because the corners are quite fast but more downforce means you are slower on the straights, so the key is to find a good balance throughout the lap. I really enjoy the track and the only downside is that I wish it was a bit longer. I wish it had a few more corners, but the corners that do exist are great fun.
“I know we always get on to food (laughs) but I really do look forward to a good Schnitzel, ooh, I love schnitzel with fresh lemon and cranberry jam, it’s so good.
“Looking ahead to the British Grand Prix, I actually made my F1 race debut at Silverstone so it will always be a special track for that reason. I have driven at Silverstone since I raced in British F3 and I’ve always enjoyed the high speed combinations of Copse, Maggots, Becketts and Stowe; that part of real estate is seriously some of the best in Formula 1. This year with the higher speeds Silverstone will be even better. I think Copse should be full throttle and if so, that will be intense. We will be getting a lot of Gs through the high speed sections and it will be one of the biggest physical challenges this season.
“The British fans are amazing, we have raced there in boiling heat, well not boiling heat really but for the English it’s boiling heat, also hail and rain and they will come early in the morning and stay until late in the evening. They are real motorsport fans, they love it and they are also loyal. Loyal to the local drivers but also happy to see any of us drivers and show us support, it’s a great atmosphere.”