“It was really nice to have a rest. I went back to my hometown in Rouen, and got to watch the World Cup Final with all of my friends while having a BBQ. I watched the game intensely, I was so stressed! It was almost as if I was playing or even about to start an F1 race! I’m super happy that we’ve put the second star on our jersey! We went into town after to celebrate with all of the French fans, and seeing everyone singing in the streets just enjoying the moment was fantastic. It’s the first time in my life I’ve seen so many people in my city, it’s like the population doubled! To be able to enjoy a weekend off with my friends and family after three weeks away was great, it gave me time to recharge before we go again for two more races in a row.
“Now we head to Germany. I had my first Renault 2-litre race at Hockenheim, where I qualified second on the front row alongside Stoffel Vandoorne. The last time I was there was in GP2 in 2016; I was having a good race but my fire extinguisher went off going down the straight and the cockpit filled with smoke so I was disqualified on safety grounds. It had been a really good race up until then.
“The Hockenheim track has plenty of character with a lot of history behind it. The stadium section is the part I like best, it is very technical with not much in the way of straights and it’s the most fun to drive. I’d like to go and see the old part, as I gather it was really impressive with the very long straights and the chicane before it turned back towards the pits.”
Brendon Hartley (Car 28):
“After the three races in a row it was good to have a few days off, and I hope all the team members managed to get a bit of a break too. I spent a couple of days mountain biking in the UK and enjoying the weather, but it was soon time to get back to work with a day in the simulator to prepare for the German Grand Prix.
“I raced at Hockenheim in the Formula 3 Euro Series and I have to say it’s a cool track. I like going to these old circuits that have a lot of history, even if we don’t race anymore down those two very long straights through the forest. I’d like to try that! The final part with the grandstand in the Motodrom section has an amazing atmosphere when it’s packed with fans. The track has a bit of everything: a very high speed Turn 1 where the kerb comes into play, and the final sector which is very technical featuring a banked section, which is something of a rarity on modern Formula 1 tracks. The combination of the high speed flat parts along with the more technical bits, as well as having some cambered sections, makes it a very interesting lap to drive.”