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Max's Early Season Debrief

Three races down, 18 to go and with the early season flyaways done and dusted we thought it was a good moment to grab our drivers for a quick debrief and a look ahead to the European season.

First up was Max, who gave us his thoughts on street circuits, gaming and the importance of getting a good night’s sleep…

Max, this is the first chance we’ve had to catch up since the start of the season. How’s life treating you
Pretty good. Of course on track the results could be a little bit better, but off track it’s all good and I’m happy. 

After the Australian Grand Prix, you spent a bit of time travelling around the country. Did you enjoy that?
Yeah, I did! It was very good. It was good to see the country was not all about Daniel, like I wrote on Instagram! No, it was really nice actually. We did some training, in a good environment. I think it was definitely better than going back to Europe and then travelling again.

Any particular races you’re looking forward to in 2018?

I’m looking forward to Spa. It’s a great race track to drive, so that’s the one I’m looking forward to the most. After that, it’s the street circuits, because that’s where we have a big, big chance of winning a race. 

Speaking of street circuits, next up is Baku. Is there an opportunity for some redemption there for you this year?
If everything stays alive, yes! No, I think the track suited us quite well already last year. Sure, the long straight is a bit painful, but we’ll see, I think we can be competitive there.

What’s the vibe around the team like this year? Is it a bit different to 2017 do you think?
Yes, I think everyone is more positive, in a bit better mood, because we know that we have a good car, and that helps a lot.

What would you say is the biggest change that you’ve made from 2017 to this year – on a personal level?
I bought a new Playstation – that was a big change. Seriously, it was a very sad story. The Playstation I’d had for about three or four years died. I had a lot of memories with that guy. This is one is upgraded, though. It’s 4K, the Pro version.

What game are you playing most at the moment?
Still FIFA mainly. I’m racing so much I don’t really want to play racing games. It’s mainly FIFA and a little bit of MotoGP. I played some first person shooters and other games before I got into F1 but now it's mainly FIFA.

Getting back to F1, it’s early days of course, but there have been some encouraging signs so far. Generally are we closer to the pack do you think?
Yeah, but if I had a better engineer of course it would be a little bit better (Max’s race engineer GP is in the room at the time and gives Max a hard stare).

We’ve got the European portion of the season coming up. Is that a period where you feel like you can get more into a groove, find a rhythm?
I don’t think so. It’s just a bit nicer for travelling. You can easily get back home on the Sunday and be at home and you only really need to arrive at the track on Thursday, unless there’s an event on the Wednesday. It’s just all a bit more chilled.

We’ve had a few pre-race events already. Have you enjoyed them? There was some badminton.
That was good. I’m now waiting to do one that involves engines. I think Daniel agrees with that. 

What will be your soundtrack to the season?
I can only choose that once the season is over. 

What’s the one thing you will do this year that you’ve never done before?
I have no idea. I don’t know yet.

What are your hopes for the season, in three words?
Very. Good. Sleep.

Where are you going to go this year that you haven’t been before?
I haven’t planned anything yet. If I did know I wouldn’t tell?

What about the tracks that will be new for you this year, have you raced at them before?
I’ve only driven Paul Ricard at a wet weather F1 test last year and that wasn’t even the full track. At Hockenheim I drove with F3 and Renault.