In the words of that great sage Ferris Bueller, ‘life moves pretty fast, there’s hardly time to blink and you’re off to the next Grand Prix’.
OK, maybe that’s not the exact quote from the movie, but it does sort of illustrate the relentlessness of this final phase of the season when the back-to-back race stack up like buses in the rush hour. And after celebrating our 13th Singapore Grand Prix podium finish at Marina Bay on Sunday we’re hot-footing it to the Sochi Autodrom for the Russian Grand Prix. And while that means going from one of our most rewarding races to one that hasn’t exactly been kind over the five editions to date, we’ve got a sneaking feeling that this year things might changes. And our drivers are of the same opinion…
Another Singapore Grand Prix and another Marina Bay podium for the Team. That must give you a boost heading for Russia?
I was happy to be on the podium in Singapore and the Team made some good strategy calls in the race, and yes, I’m looking forward to Russia where there are more overtaking opportunities.
The Sochi Autodrom has been a bit of a ‘bogey’ circuit for the Team since it arrived on the calendar in 2014, with fifth place being our best there. Is it a venue you like and what do you think we can get out of it this year?
The track layout isn’t that amazing for us but it’s unique as most of the corners are 90 degrees which we don’t usually experience and it’s always challenging to go from high speed straights into low speed corners and get the best out of the car under braking. It’s a pretty flat track and you can see quickly if the car is working well through the more challenging corners.
Ferrari were very quick in Singapore and the straights in Sochi will suit them, but I have a few ideas about our performance last weekend that we’ll analyse and hopefully improve on in Russia.
This weekend will be your first F1 outing in Sochi in an F1 car, but you’ve had success in Russia in the past haven’t you?
I raced at Sochi when I was in F2 and I won there, so it’s a track I enjoy and I’m looking forward to being back on a circuit I’m familiar with. The track is predominantly made up of 90 degree corners so if you’re good at one, you’re going to be good at all 18 of them! It’s also good for overtaking with some long straights and it will be very different to the heat and humidity in Singapore.
You’ve put together a string of good results since making your Team debut in Spa, which suggests you’ve settled in pretty quickly?
I’m feeling more comfortable with the car with each race and I’m really enjoying working with the Team, especially as I get to know them better. In Russia my aim is to make the most of what I’ve learnt and push for the best possible result for the Team.