What are your hopes and expectations for Mexico ?
Just the usual : I want to get the most out of the car and achieve the best result possible. We know the level of our car’s performance so we want to get the most out of it at every opportunity.
What do you think of the circuit layout of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez ?
I’ve never driven it but I have studied the layout and watched some on-board laps so I’ve got a good taste for it. It looks good, but you never get a real feel for it until you get out there in the car. I know that the engineers say it was pretty slippery last year, especially early in the weekend which is what you’d expect for a new facility. It’s going to be interesting to see how much it’s improved over the past year.
What are your post-race thoughts on the United States Grand Prix ?
Firstly, the five second penalty I got at the end of the race was frustrating as I was just reacting to Kvyat’s pretty aggressive defending even though he was on quite shot tyres, but it’s just one of those things in motorsport and you get on with it. Otherwise, it was a pretty interesting race. We started planning for a one-stop then adapted to a two-stop, then finally to a three-stop. It’s not often that you change that much over the course of a race, but we could see the tyres weren’t lasting as long as anyone had predicted so we went with it. I relied on the pit wall to advise me of the best approach and we did make a pretty good call with the final stop. Obviously, we wanted to finish in the points and, although we didn’t, we were close.
You seemed to enjoy your final stint ?
It was great to be racing with fresh tyres at the end when so many other cars were running out of their tyre performance. In racing you always want to overtake any car ahead so I enjoyed that final stint the most of any of my racing this season.
Will Mexico be more of a challenge as it’s a new track to you ?
It will be interesting learning the track for the first few laps in FP1 but after that you just get on with the programme.
What are you looking forward to in Mexico away from the track ?
I’ve never been to Mexico before so it’s going to be a completely new experience away from the track too. I’ve heard a lot about Mexico City from everyone that visited last year, especially that the fans are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I love Mexican food, especially if it’s hot and spicy.