It really doesn’t feel like eight months since we first fired up the RB13 in anger on Friday in Melbourne and yet, quick as a flash, here we are, heading for Abu Dhabi and 2017’s grand finale.
And while due to the championships being done and dusted there might be more of an end-of-school-year feeling about the weekend than usual there are still a couple of trophies on offer at Yas Marina and as Max and Daniel explain, there are a couple of very good reasons why they're properly fired up to end the season on a high...
It's the final race of the season. Still hungry?
I don't actually want the season to end.
We will of course try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi. Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tyres to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.
Is Yas Marina a circuit that will suit the RB13?
I would say that my favourite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It's also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.
The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track. There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.
You're on a bit of a roll at the moment with three podiums in five races and five top-five finishes in a row. Is this final round coming too soon for you?
I don't actually want the season to end. I'm really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going. The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back in to training before it all starts again.
There are only a handful of current circuits where you haven't yet scored a podium but Yas Marina is one of them. Has it become one of those circuits for you?
It's a fun track to drive, I like the twilight thing.
Yas has actually been one of my favourite tracks over the years. It's been a bit like Suzuka for me though, a track that I've always enjoyed and gone well on but not quite reached the podium at. I broke that trend in Suzuka this year so hopefully I can do the same in Abu Dhabi.
It's an odd one in that FP1 and FP3 are run in the full heat of the daytime, yet the race takes place in the cool of the evening. What's that like?
It makes things more challenging. You generally don't look too much into the sunlight sessions because in the evenings, when it counts, the track cools down and the car changes so much. I wouldn't say they are wasted sessions but you do have to take them with a pinch of salt. However, it's a fun track to drive, I like the twilight thing and I guess because it's the end of the season it's even more enjoyable.
The RB13 is peaking at the moment. Can we sign off on it in style in Abu Dhabi?
When you have so much time away from the car in the off season it helps to sign off with a strong result as it makes you feel like you really deserve a break. I think we should have a strong car in Abu Dhabi. I said I want another win before the season is out and I think we have a decent chance of achieving that.