As the Formula One calendar enters into its 20th race, our number 20 gives his thoughts on the prestigious Interlagos circuit.
What do you make of the historic Brazilian Grand Prix?
Brazil is a legendary weekend. It’s got so much about it, many of my idols have raced at Interlagos in the past. In my childhood it was always the last race so it had that championship presiding feeling about it. I think it’s unfortunate that it’s not the last race anymore as it feels like it should be but it’s still a fantastic weekend nonetheless.
How do you find the anticlockwise Interlagos circuit itself?
I know a lot about the circuit and it’s one of those famous places that’s so ingrained in Formula 1 history. It’s a short lap, it has a go-kart feeling to it as you are having to turn all the time and it flows quite nicely. Interlagos, like Austin, is one of only a few circuits that run anti-clockwise, so it’s cool that these two races are close together on the calendar.
What sort of mind set do you approach it with?
From the first corner onwards, it’s a really exciting circuit and there are quite a few overtaking opportunities, especially in the first sector. It’s a real driver’s track and pretty bumpy all the way round, so set up will be crucial to getting the most out of a lap. The South American fans love their Formula 1 too, so I’m excited about getting out there. But, as a driver, Brazil is another race and we’ll give everything we have to come away with a decent result for the team.
It must be quite special to walk down the Senna esses!
The first time you go there it’s a really cool experience as you’ve seen it on television so many times and watched the films of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. It has a lot of history and that makes it a very special weekend. It’s one of those unique places which makes it a good experience to race.
The Brazilians are known for their carnival atmosphere; do you notice that from the cockpit?
They are very patriotic and always cheering for the drivers, especially for Massa or the other Brazilians. It’s like that everywhere you go, though. Mexico was good for that too, both countries are very cheerful so that makes it very fun to go to and enjoy.