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2018/08/26 14:10:00

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Belgian GP 2018 – Advance

20 August 2018
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 always been an incredibly fast racetrack. Was that sensation of speed heightened last year with this new generation car? If so, were there any sections in particular where you noticed the uptick in speed? “Spa is a very high-speed circuit with a lot of good fun and good memories, but I’ve got to admit that last year from turn five to the backstraight of turn 15, the whole middle part of the circuit has been much faster. We’ve had that feeling from the extra grip and downforce of the new cars.” 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

Hungarian GP 2018 – Review

6 August 2018
“Both of us in the top-10 is really good. The race was frustrating. We need to understand how to get the tires better in these circumstances. I spent 50 laps behind (Carlos) Sainz, being half-a-second to one second faster. As soon as you get close to the car in front of you, it just goes and there’s nothing you can do. That was a bit of a shame but, overall, I think we really did a great job. We jumped (Nico) Hulkenberg and (Brendon) Hartley, showing that we had an amazing pace. Generally, I think we had a great pace, so it’s good to have two cars in the top-10. We’ve had a really good weekend. The race pace was so much better than P10.”

Hungarian GP 2018 – Advance

25 July 2018
With a run of three-straight grands prix, along with this back-to-back set of races in Germany and Hungary, how important is the summer shutdown for team personnel? “I think it’s going to be important for everyone. There have been a lot of grands prix in a little amount of time. Since Melbourne, it’s been pretty much flat out, especially in the first part of the year with the car being new and so on, there’s always a lot of work. Of course, that first triple-header was quite challenging, so I think everyone is quite happy to go on holiday, and they can come back recharged for the second half of the season.” What will you do for your own well-being and self-preservation during the summer shutdown? “I’ll have family time, do some sport, get some holiday time in, just generally enjoy being home.” What are your expectations for Hungary? Does the tighter track pose more of a challenge for Haas F1 Team? “It’s not an easy grand prix. It’s a small circuit and it’s like a rollercoaster. It’s very twisty. We’ll see what we can do there, but it’s a grand prix I love. I always love going to Budapest but, definitely, it’s a challenging one.” In six career Formula One starts at the Hungaroring you’ve finished in the top-10 three times, with a best finish of third in your first race there in 2012. What makes it such a good track for you? “It’s difficult to explain. I’ve always had a good feeling in Hungary. I’ve always liked the track. It used to be very bumpy, but they resurfaced two years ago. It’s a low-speed circuit. How the car handles is important. I’ve been lucky to have had cars that have performed well there over the years.” The Hungaroring has historically been known as a slower racetrack because of its tight layout, but did that change last year because of the speeds you’re able to achieve in the corners with these faster, current-generation cars? “I think the biggest difference was the resurfacing of the Hungaroring. It used to be very bumpy, and now it’s pretty flat, which is a bit of a shame. It’s not a high-speed circuit, but saying that, sector two is quite cool – going up the hill and coming back down to the last two corners. It’s not as slow as it used to be.” Did the faster speeds change how you attacked certain portions of the Hungaroring? “No, not really. You try to maximize every corner with whatever grip you’ve got available.” You’re constantly turning the wheel at the Hungaroring and with the slower speeds, very little air flows into the car. Combined with the normally high temperatures experienced in Budapest, how physically demanding is the Hungarian Grand Prix? “It can get very hot in Budapest. It’s not an easy race, but on the other hand, there’s not many high-speed corners on the track, so it’s more about keeping your focus and concentration all

German GP 2018 – Review

23 July 2018
“That was good fun. It was a good end to the race. Obviously, we didn’t quite get the right choice putting inters on, as the track dried really quickly for some reason. It was a bit of luck, a gamble, but we came back on slicks, and I had amazing fun through those last laps. I was just pushing it to the limit and going for it. I think we would’ve been quite happy to be where we were before the rain came, and then, obviously, it rained. The boys deserved a really good drive from me, and I had fun doing it.”

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