There’s an old adage that a Formula 1 season is a marathon and not a sprint, but when it comes to the sport’s first triple-header both are true.
We’re into the final week of the long haul from Le Castellet to Silverstone via the Red Bull Ring and while the simple duration of the team’s time away from home has made it feel like a test of endurance, it’s also been a race against time to get everything from our first home event, the Austrian Grand Prix, to our second, the British Grand Prix.
However, after a 1,500km sprint from Spielberg back to home base in Milton Keynes, we’re now almost ready for one of our biggest weekends of the season. The cars are prepped, the garage is being built, our regular Energy Station is up and running and we’re all set to tackle the high-speed home of British motorsport, as are our drivers…
Everyone knows you’re a fan of street circuits, but when you’re not dreaming about walls and barriers, it’s the high-speed corners of ancient airfields that get your heart racing isn’t it?
Yep. My first ever F1 race was at Silverstone so it’s always a special one for me. I’ve always loved the circuit; it’s high speed, flowing and beautiful. Copse is flat and then into Maggots and Becketts is just epic, I’m genuinely so excited about this race. It’s gonna be, full, full, lift, downshift and back to full, it’s gonna be sick.
That’s the upside but we also know that you’re not the biggest fan of the British weather. At the moment, though, it looks like the gods are being kind.
I don’t always love the weather, but you win some, you lose some. However, it also has one of the most loyal and patriotic crowds and the place is rich in motorsport history.
You’ve had some good results at Silverstone: on the podium in 2014 and a good run to fifth from the back last year. What can you do this time?
Yeah, I had a fun race there last year coming from the back, it’s always been a pretty happy hunting ground for me. I’ve had a podium there but never a win, I might steal it from Lewis. He has a pretty good home record but I’ll try and get one back on the English, they are doing a bit too well in sport at the moment (laughs).
The race’s future isn’t guaranteed. What’s your feeling about that?
I definitely want the track to stay on the calendar and I really hope that’s the case, but if for some reason it had to be replaced with another English circuit I would say Brands Hatch GP Circuit, that would also be sick in an F1 car. Whatever happens, we have to have at least one English race on the calendar.
P2 in France, P1 in Austria, you’ve had an amazing run during this triple-header, so you must be looking forward to this weekend?
Yes, Silverstone is a great track to end this busy stint at. It’s a very historic track but also great fun. It has a lot of fast corners, Becketts and Maggots being my favourite and there are always loads of fans out in force.
Everyone talks about the incredible speed at Silverstone, but what’s it like to race on?
It is quite hard to overtake due to the fast corners, which means it's hard to follow so I’ll be hoping for some of that lovely British rain. I have been on the podium once before there [2016, P2], so I’m eager to get back on it. Being close to the team HQ is also a bonus, it is nice for the mechanics and engineers to be close to home for a race weekend.