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AUGUST 27th 2017 – BELGIUM GRAND PRIX

2017/08/27 13:00:00

Latest News

Interview – Ahead of Singapore GP

12 September 2017
The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for you and the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes? I think Monza was more just about the drag and the efficiency of the low downforce. At Spa-Francorchamps, there were a few more corners where we could exploit a bit more of the potential of the car. So yes, we struggled a bit more in Italy. The pace looked good on Friday, but over the grand prix it was a bit more complicated and difficult. Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks? I think it will. Every time we run maximum downforce, the car seems to work better. We’ve got a better efficiency between drag and downforce, so that’s good. The key for us in Singapore will be to get into the tire window. If we do so, we’ll be in a good place. But again, that’s not easy to achieve. Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night? I do like the Singapore Grand Prix. I do like competing in the night. It’s pretty good fun. It makes some great footage, and clearly Singapore is one of the most beautiful races you can have by night. It’s pretty awesome. It provides something a bit different on the calendar. I’m very much looking forward to it and seeing what we can do there. Because the Singapore Grand Prix is at night, is there a heightened sense of speed? It’s actually easier at night because the lights never change. The luminosity is always the same. You stick with the same visor, and driving at those speeds in those conditions is absolutely fine. Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating? It’s pretty cool. Everyone loves it, especially the VIPs, who then go partying after the race. It’s a special one, for sure. It’s a race everyone waits for. It’s a tricky track, and you’re racing at night downtown when it’s very hot and humid, so there are a lot of factors that make it exciting. Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit? Yes. You pretty much have to hold your breath and hope for the best, especially when you’re pushing in qualifying, as you run so close to the walls. How do you handle the bumpy nature

Italy GP debriefing

5 September 2017
We just had that damage on the front wing in the first corner and from there our race was massively compromised. We tried a few things and we learned about the car. I don’t think the pace was that bad.

Interview – Before Italy Grand Prix

30 August 2017
How has the technical partnership with Ferrari been and how has it evolved as Haas F1 Team went from designing a car to building it first racecar to building the current-generation car which featured a drastically different rules package? The relationship with Ferrari is very good. We owe them quite a lot, to be able to be on the grid and performing with a good engine, gearbox, and suspension – all those parts come from Ferrari. That means a lot to us, and clearly going to the Italian Grand Prix we’re going to feel some of that fan support for ourselves, which is great. How crucial has Dallara and Ferrari been in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built? It’s key to us to have Ferrari and Dallara behind us. Without them it would’ve been very difficult for us to be on the grid the first year and to be competitive, and again this year. We have a lot of Italian in our DNA. Monza is the fastest track Formula One visits. What are your expectations this year with the current-generation car? I think it’ll be pretty good. It may be one of the circuits where we don’t improve the lap time that much compared to the past. It’s going to be fun though, with big straight lines and a lot of low downforce. The Lesmo corner and the Ascari chicane – they’re great fun. A 1:19.525 lap set by Juan Pablo Montoya during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). Will that time be eclipsed this year at Monza and a new benchmark for speed set? It would be nice. We love going fast, so I’m looking forward to see if we can go for it. Where are the overtaking opportunities at Monza? The good thing with Monza is there’s lots of overtaking opportunities. There’s turn one, three, eight and then the Parabolica. It’s more or less every single braking event. Is overtaking at Monza a bit like a drag race where it’s about who can get on the power the fastest and most effectively? I think qualifying’s going to be key to finding the right tow. The race is always fun to play with the tow and having some fun overtaking maneuvers. We’ll see where we are and how well we get the car to work. There aren’t that many corners so it’s very hard to get the tires to work properly, but we’ll be on it. Monza is a track with a lot of history and home to some of Formula One’s most passionate fans. Can you describe the atmosphere there? The atmosphere is crazy in Monza. The Tifosi, the fans – they’re just great. The track is in the middle of a park. It’s like nowhere else.

Interview – Ahead of Belgium Grand Prix

22 August 2017
Belgium is the home of Haas Automation’s European headquarters. You’ve been to many appearances and interacted with many Haas Automation customers. How have they embraced the team and Gene Haas’ endeavor into Formula One? “Every time we do something with Haas Automation it’s been very well organized and we always receive a very warm welcome from all the guests attending. It’s been great to be representing Haas Automation in Formula One. It’s a big name in motorsports and a big name in industry. Whenever we meet their customers, especially when we’re with Gene (Haas), they’re always very happy. It feels like a big family, which is nice to be a part of.” Spa has been called a driver’s track. Why? “It’s just a great track. There are very high-speed corners and there are a lot of turns, different types, some high speed, some low – just a good variety overall. It gives you a good feeling to drive.” Spa has high-speed straights and corners combined with a tight and twisting section, especially between turns eight and 15. How do you set up your car to tackle all the different aspects of the track? Do you have to make sacrifices in one section to gain an edge in other sections? “You always see different approaches at Spa. Either you’re fast in sector one and sector three, which are the high-speed sectors, or you’re fast in sector two, which has more of the corners. Both work pretty well, so it’s a matter of how you want to approach the race.” Can you describe the sensation you feel inside the car when you drive through Eau Rouge and Raidillon? Are you able to take that section flat out? “The first lap you go through flat out, you feel sick, like you’re on a rollercoaster because it goes up and down. You’re thinking, will I make that for the race? But, once you’ve done it once, it’s all ok and you just enjoy the g-forces.” How important is it to enter Eau Rouge in clean air to ensure you have the maximum amount of downforce available? “It’s certainly a corner where you don’t want to have a mistake. Qualifying in clean air is certainly quite good. On the other hand, if you get a big tow, you can have a massive advantage going into turn five. There’s a bit of an argument for both philosophies there.” Your most recent podium was earned in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. You started ninth and made it all the way to third, finishing behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. How did you make up so many positions? “We had a good car in Belgium that year. I had qualified fourth, but started ninth due to a gearbox penalty. We had a good strategy and good timing with a safety car, too. I managed to overtake a few cars and get on the podium. Honestly, it was one of those weekends where everything just

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Interview – Ahead of Singapore GP

12 September 2017
The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for you and the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes? I think Monza was more just about the drag and the efficiency of the low downforce. At Spa-Francorchamps, there were a few more corners where we could exploit a bit more of the potential of the car. So yes, we struggled a bit more in Italy. The pace looked good on Friday, but over the grand prix it was a bit more complicated and difficult. Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks? I think it will. Every time we run maximum downforce, the car seems to work better. We’ve got a better efficiency between drag and downforce, so that’s good. The key for us in Singapore will be to get into the tire window. If we do so, we’ll be in a good place. But again, that’s not easy to achieve. Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night? I do like the Singapore Grand Prix. I do like competing in the night. It’s pretty good fun. It makes some great footage, and clearly Singapore is one of the most beautiful races you can have by night. It’s pretty awesome. It provides something a bit different on the calendar. I’m very much looking forward to it and seeing what we can do there. Because the Singapore Grand Prix is at night, is there a heightened sense of speed? It’s actually easier at night because the lights never change. The luminosity is always the same. You stick with the same visor, and driving at those speeds in those conditions is absolutely fine. Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating? It’s pretty cool. Everyone loves it, especially the VIPs, who then go partying after the race. It’s a special one, for sure. It’s a race everyone waits for. It’s a tricky track, and you’re racing at night downtown when it’s very hot and humid, so there are a lot of factors that make it exciting. Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit? Yes. You pretty much have to hold your breath and hope for the best, especially when you’re pushing in qualifying, as you run so close to the walls. How do you handle the bumpy nature

Italy GP debriefing

5 September 2017
We just had that damage on the front wing in the first corner and from there our race was massively compromised. We tried a few things and we learned about the car. I don’t think the pace was that bad.

Interview – Before Italy Grand Prix

30 August 2017
How has the technical partnership with Ferrari been and how has it evolved as Haas F1 Team went from designing a car to building it first racecar to building the current-generation car which featured a drastically different rules package? The relationship with Ferrari is very good. We owe them quite a lot, to be able to be on the grid and performing with a good engine, gearbox, and suspension – all those parts come from Ferrari. That means a lot to us, and clearly going to the Italian Grand Prix we’re going to feel some of that fan support for ourselves, which is great. How crucial has Dallara and Ferrari been in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built? It’s key to us to have Ferrari and Dallara behind us. Without them it would’ve been very difficult for us to be on the grid the first year and to be competitive, and again this year. We have a lot of Italian in our DNA. Monza is the fastest track Formula One visits. What are your expectations this year with the current-generation car? I think it’ll be pretty good. It may be one of the circuits where we don’t improve the lap time that much compared to the past. It’s going to be fun though, with big straight lines and a lot of low downforce. The Lesmo corner and the Ascari chicane – they’re great fun. A 1:19.525 lap set by Juan Pablo Montoya during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). Will that time be eclipsed this year at Monza and a new benchmark for speed set? It would be nice. We love going fast, so I’m looking forward to see if we can go for it. Where are the overtaking opportunities at Monza? The good thing with Monza is there’s lots of overtaking opportunities. There’s turn one, three, eight and then the Parabolica. It’s more or less every single braking event. Is overtaking at Monza a bit like a drag race where it’s about who can get on the power the fastest and most effectively? I think qualifying’s going to be key to finding the right tow. The race is always fun to play with the tow and having some fun overtaking maneuvers. We’ll see where we are and how well we get the car to work. There aren’t that many corners so it’s very hard to get the tires to work properly, but we’ll be on it. Monza is a track with a lot of history and home to some of Formula One’s most passionate fans. Can you describe the atmosphere there? The atmosphere is crazy in Monza. The Tifosi, the fans – they’re just great. The track is in the middle of a park. It’s like nowhere else.

Interview – Ahead of Belgium Grand Prix

22 August 2017
Belgium is the home of Haas Automation’s European headquarters. You’ve been to many appearances and interacted with many Haas Automation customers. How have they embraced the team and Gene Haas’ endeavor into Formula One? “Every time we do something with Haas Automation it’s been very well organized and we always receive a very warm welcome from all the guests attending. It’s been great to be representing Haas Automation in Formula One. It’s a big name in motorsports and a big name in industry. Whenever we meet their customers, especially when we’re with Gene (Haas), they’re always very happy. It feels like a big family, which is nice to be a part of.” Spa has been called a driver’s track. Why? “It’s just a great track. There are very high-speed corners and there are a lot of turns, different types, some high speed, some low – just a good variety overall. It gives you a good feeling to drive.” Spa has high-speed straights and corners combined with a tight and twisting section, especially between turns eight and 15. How do you set up your car to tackle all the different aspects of the track? Do you have to make sacrifices in one section to gain an edge in other sections? “You always see different approaches at Spa. Either you’re fast in sector one and sector three, which are the high-speed sectors, or you’re fast in sector two, which has more of the corners. Both work pretty well, so it’s a matter of how you want to approach the race.” Can you describe the sensation you feel inside the car when you drive through Eau Rouge and Raidillon? Are you able to take that section flat out? “The first lap you go through flat out, you feel sick, like you’re on a rollercoaster because it goes up and down. You’re thinking, will I make that for the race? But, once you’ve done it once, it’s all ok and you just enjoy the g-forces.” How important is it to enter Eau Rouge in clean air to ensure you have the maximum amount of downforce available? “It’s certainly a corner where you don’t want to have a mistake. Qualifying in clean air is certainly quite good. On the other hand, if you get a big tow, you can have a massive advantage going into turn five. There’s a bit of an argument for both philosophies there.” Your most recent podium was earned in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. You started ninth and made it all the way to third, finishing behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. How did you make up so many positions? “We had a good car in Belgium that year. I had qualified fourth, but started ninth due to a gearbox penalty. We had a good strategy and good timing with a safety car, too. I managed to overtake a few cars and get on the podium. Honestly, it was one of those weekends where everything just

After Hungarian Grand Prix

31 July 2017
“Not much to say about the race, to be fair. It was compromised at the first corner when I was hit. Then we had a puncture, and then we had a loose wheel, so we had to stop the car and not take any risks. When you have a tough weekend you then want to jump back in, get back on the horse. The break will be good for everyone, but we need to understand what we can do to avoid this kind of weekend.”

Interview – Ahead of Hungary Grand Prix

25 July 2017
We’re halfway through the season and halfway through Haas F1 Team’s sophomore year. Can you provide an assessment of what the team has achieved so far and what you’d like to accomplish the rest of the year? “It’s never easy to look back when you’re in the middle of a season at what we’ve achieved. I think the results are speaking for themselves. We’ve already scored as many points as we did in our first season and we’ve been very competitive at a lot of different tracks. We’ve been in Q3 a bunch of times. It’s a big step from last year, but there’s still more that we want to do. As Gene (Haas) would say, there’s no bad team in Formula One. It’s just a constant fight to get better than the others.” We go from Silverstone – one of the fastest and most flowing circuits in Formula One – to the Hungaroring, which is one of the slowest circuits and also very technical. Does it take a few laps to forget about what you felt in the car at Silverstone, or are you able to just jump into the car and immediately get up to speed, despite the Hungaroring’s drastically different layout? “You do get back in the car and find the pace straight away. I’ve been competing in Formula One for a few seasons and I know all the circuits and all the characteristics of each layout. It’s not a big deal. I jump in the car and find my rhythm. From there, you can start a good weekend.” While the Hungaroring is known as a slower racetrack because of its tight layout, is that set to change this year because of the speeds you’re able to achieve with these faster, current-generation cars? “Yes, probably. It could be a pretty big change from the past. Sector two is going to be flowing and flying. The last two corners are going to be much faster than they were before. I believe the layout, and the way the race will play out will be different. Saying that, overtaking could be a bit of a tough one.” Will the faster speeds change how you attack certain portions of the Hungaroring? “You always have to forget what you’re used to from previous years. Now everything is different and the cars are much faster. So yes, you do change your approach. Having done 10 races with the 2017 car, we know where the limits are.” The Hungaroring is a tight circuit with a lot of corners, which means a lot of braking. You tried new Brembo brakes in practice and new Carbon Industrie (CI) brakes in qualifying and the race at Silverstone. Did it provide the comparison you were looking for? “Honestly, yes. It’s never easy to change brakes on a race weekend because it changes much more than just the brakes with things like mapping and adjusting the setup. I think we got some good results from the CI package. Whatever

Interview – Before Great Britain GP

12 July 2017
Silverstone is one of the fastest tracks in Formula One, but it’s not necessarily from long straights but rather from long, flowing corners. Can you describe the feeling of speed you experience at this power circuit? “It’s a really cool track, especially the fast part through Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel corners. When you have the grip in the car there, you really get the sensation of the g-forces. Everything’s pushing down. You really want to get the first part of the flowing corners right. If you don’t, you just lose a lot of time. When the car is very stable and has good balance, you can go flat out and really push it to the limit.” Knowing how fast these current-generation cars are, what are your expectations in terms of how the car will feel at Silverstone, particularly through the Maggots, Becketts and Chapel corners – an area of the track where you really feel the g-forces being exerted on your body? “I think it’s going to be one of the most exciting tracks of the year to drive. With the new cars, we’re really going to have a lot of downforce, a lot of g-forces through the high-speed corners – which were already really good with the previous cars. Now we’re going to get to another level and I’m looking forward to discovering that.” With speed playing such a role at Silverstone, how difficult is it to overtake? And if the opportunity presents itself, where can you overtake? “There are a few spots. On the straights and through the high-speed corners, you have an opportunity if your car is much better balanced than the car in front of you. After turn three or turn four, there’s the long section after the slow-speed corners, and that’s a good opportunity as well. But the thing about Silverstone is really the difference between a well-balanced car and an unbalanced car – that’s where the opportunity lies.” What do you need at Silverstone to have the proper balance in your racecar? “Silverstone is not an easy track. You’ve got all the high-speed sections, where you really want to carry some speed and get fast. Then you’ve got the twisty turns three and four, then the whole last corner, which is tricky on the throttle application. Generally, you need a good rear-end, and if you get that, you can then put some front-flap on and go faster.” Is Silverstone the track where you’re able to run at full throttle for the longest periods of time? “I think probably Baku we were flat out for longer periods of time, but Silverstone is a power track as well. You need good power to get a good lap time there. There are a few straight lines and a few overtaking opportunities but, mainly, Silverstone is about the grip of the car through the high-speed corners.” How do you find that edge to determine when you can be flat-out and when you can’t? “Well, you find out quickly

Interview – Before Austria Grand Prix

4 July 2017
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was obviously a frustrating experience, but the silver lining in motorsports is that there is always another race weekend. How important is it to hit a reset button in Austria and have a productive, systematic weekend beginning with FP1 and continuing right through the race? “I think it’s important that we sort out our problems and get back to a decent level. I think there were some positives from Baku, as there always are. There were some negatives, of course, but I’m very much looking forward to going back to Austria. We’ll work on the things we can improve and I’m hoping for a better result. We had a good race there last year. I’m hoping the car works well and it should be a fun track to drive.” When drivers talk about finding the balance of the car, is it aero balance, mechanical balance, brake balance or a combination of all three? “It’s a combination of all three. You cannot take one apart. Aero and mechanical balance go together, and the brake balance fine-tunes the car. It’s very difficult to remove one. You work with your philosophy and you set up from there.” If one of those areas of balance is off, does it have a snowball effect with the rest of the car’s handling? How do you attempt to overcome it? “Yes, it’s definitely a snowball effect. When you lose, let’s say the aero balance, then you try to compensate with the brake balance going rearward, then the mechanical balance going rearward. Nothing is then putting load on the front tires and, therefore, you’ve got front-locking. It’s about finding the right balance, not putting too much on things, but finding the right compromise because you’re never going to get a full, perfect lap with the car balance.” Most drivers are creatures of habit, where a similar routine is followed no matter the venue. With Austria marking the beginning of a five-race European stretch that takes us all the way through August, how helpful is it to have some uniformity in that your changing room is the same, your hospitality unit is the same, your debriefing room is the same, etc., because all of our trucks will be at all of these races? “It’s good that we’ve got all of our own stuff with these races. We have very good equipment. Everything we have is nearly brand new. Not too much really changes on a race weekend though, even on the fly-aways.” You’re a family man and Geneva is home. How valuable is this stretch of races because the travel time to each venue is so much less intense, allowing you more days at home? “We’ve been traveling a lot. It’s good to be able to come to the European races. You can arrive at the track on Thursday morning and be home by dinner time on Sunday, which is good for my kids. It also allows us a bit more time to prepare our

Interview – Ahead of Azerbaijan GP

19 June 2017
We’re now a third of the way through Haas F1 Team’s second year. How would you assess the season and the team’s development to date? “It’s been a pretty good start. I think from last year we’ve made some big steps forward in all places. We’re more consistent. We’ve been able to score points more times than last year, which is good. There are still a lot of areas where we want to improve and we can improve. Generally, I’m very pleased with the way the team has been moving forward.” The Canadian Grand Prix was another example of how tight the midfield is this year, where teams are separated by just tenths of a second. Everyone is talking about the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes, but how would you characterize the midfield battle between Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, Renault and Haas? “It’s actually very exciting. If you were removing the three big teams at the front and only leaving the midfield, there would be a different race winner almost every grand prix. The difference between pole position and P2 in Canada was much bigger than from P10 to around P17 or P18. That shows how tight it is in the midfield and how much we have to be getting 100 percent from the car every time.” With last year being the first race at Baku City Circuit, time in the simulator was the only way to prepare for the race. How did your time in the simulator compare with the reality of your first lap around the track? And if there was no simulator time, how did you prepare yourself to compete at an unknown venue? “Simulators are a great help, but it’s never going to be as good as driving the track for the first time. Especially when it’s a new grand prix, the track’s layout is never 100 percent correct in a simulator. I guess the best way is just to walk the track, see how it goes, then take it steady on the first few laps and build your pace from there.” Baku became the fastest street circuit in Formula One when it debuted last year and speeds have only increased this year. What do you expect with this newer, faster and wider car on a circuit that’s only a year old? “It’s going to be pretty exciting. I think some parts of the circuit are going to be very tight for the wider cars, but some other corners are going to be really nice to drive. Straight-line speed is going to be a bit down. I think it’s going to be a really cool track to drive with these cars – braking late and carrying a lot of speed in the corners, and playing around with some pretty fast corners through the walls.” Was there anything from last year’s race at Baku that’s applicable to this year’s race, or is it all out the window because the cars are so different? “I believe there’s

After Canada Grand Prix

12 June 2017
Well, our race started very badly with the front wing change on the first lap. Then we knew the only way to get a decent strategy was to stay out and make those tires last for 69 laps, which is pretty good for supersofts. We got there. I am very unhappy with Carlos’ (Sainz) maneuver at the start – what he did to me going into turn three. It was very, very dangerous. I’m glad the car didn’t have too much damage. We changed the front wing and got going again. It was a tough race. We needed a bit of luck at the end, which we got with Alonso retiring, and we managed to get a point. It’s great for the team, but we missed a bit of speed today.

Interview – Ahead of Canada GP

6 June 2017
Monaco marked Haas F1 Team’s first double points finish in its still young history. Guenther Steiner mentioned how this wasn’t some sort of magic, that the team has been working toward this for some time. Can you talk about the progress the team has made since its inception to now regularly having a shot at getting both drivers into the points? “Last year we started very well, then we struggled a little bit more as we were preparing for 2017. The car is very good. We’ve had a lot of chances to get into the points. We haven’t always had the luck we needed but, eventually, Monaco came. It was not maybe the place we expected to get both cars into the top-10, but we did it, and it shows that the team is now capable of finding the right setup, the right strategy and going for it. It was a big achievement. I think it’s as big as our first Q3 appearance, or our first points, and I’m very happy with that.”   When you have a good result, how long are you able to enjoy it before you’re forced to turn your attention to the next race? “Well, I normally take Monday off. It’s the day I’m either going to enjoy or be in a bad mood, depending on the race. After that I’m already focused on the next race. We have a chat with the engineers, we have a conference call on Thursday, and we’re already working flat out on the next race.”   How hard is it to get into the top-10 when six of those spots should theoretically be reserved for the top-three teams – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull? You have to fight with six other teams and 12 other drivers for four spots. “It’s pretty hard to get there. There are races where, like in Barcelona, there were a lot of cars crashing out like a Mercedes, a Ferrari, a Williams, which makes it easier, but we didn’t manage to get as high as we wanted. In Monaco, there was nothing happening at the front. It was really difficult to follow the guys. For the smaller teams, as we are in the midfield, it’s pretty tricky as there aren’t many spots to go for.”   Despite running the softest tire compounds in Pirelli’s lineup for a second straight week, drivers are saying the tires aren’t soft enough. Ideally, what are you looking for in a tire? It is more grip, a sidewall that’s not as stiff or a combination of both? “It’s more grip. During the last race I did 40 laps on the ultrasoft, which is really more of a qualifying tire. It should be able to do some amount of laps, but not as much as that. We’re asking to get tires with a better warm-up, be better after the Safety Car and to go faster. We believe that the cars are able to go faster.”   Another element of the

Interview – Ahead of Monaco GP

22 May 2017
Monaco in Formula One is like the Indianapolis 500 in INDYCAR and the Daytona 500 in NASCAR. Obviously, Monaco is special, but what is the Monaco Grand Prix like for you? Monaco is special to me because it’s kind of my home race. We’re beside France and there’s always a lot of people, a lot of fans. It is, of course, special because of all the glamour because it is Monaco. Everyone knows Monaco and everyone wants to be in Monaco. It’s a very challenging track and a very long weekend with lots of demands, but at the end of the day it’s a very nice show. You mentioned how Monaco is sort of a home race for you. Is your family able to join you? Are you able to enjoy the area on Friday when there is no on-track running? I’ll have my wife and my Dad coming to Monaco, which is going to be great. Of course, there’s going to be a lot of French fans at the grand prix, which is really cool. I’m really looking forward to that. Monaco’s a special one as we don’t drive on the Friday. It’s an ‘off’ day on track, but I’ve got at least one meeting with the engineers, an autograph session and a fan forum appearance. It’s pretty busy even though you’re not running. You’ll have an actual home race next year with the return of the French Grand Prix. How important will that race be to you and what experience do you have at Circuit Paul Ricard? I don’t have that much experience at Paul Ricard. I raced there in GT1 and did the old GP2 tests, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually raced a single-seater there. Having a home grand prix is something special. Everyone’s very excited about it and I can’t wait to go there and see what it’s like. Much will be made of Fernando Alonso’s drive in the Indianapolis 500. What do you think of it and how much of the Indianapolis 500 will you be able to watch? It’s pretty amazing and he’s doing well in the testing. It’s a really good race. It’s a nice one, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch. I’ll have a look at the highlights. Jumping into Alonso’s car for the Monaco Grand Prix is Jenson Button. From what you’ve seen so far this year, what adjustments will he have to make to drive this year’s car compared to last year’s car? First thing he has to do is get used to the width of the car, especially in Monaco. Jenson is a great champion. He’s been world champion and he knows what he’s doing. He’s going to be on it pretty quickly. If we can take advantage of the fact that he’s not got much experience in the car at the beginning, we’ll use that for our own performance, but I’m sure he’s going to be good straight away. The posh, elegant lifestyle
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