The old phrase states ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ – do you feel that applies to team strategy with some bold calls at the Hungarian Grand Prix and again in Sunday’s British Grand Prix – where you ran deep on the medium tires to run as high as fifth?
“Yes, I think we try as much as we can. Obviously, the last two strategy calls have been the right ones. It paid out in Hungary with Kevin (Magnussen) scoring a point. It didn’t really happen on Sunday, but we tried. We brought the car up to fifth, I was having a good race from there. It’s good and I think we need to keep doing that.”
What are the key takeaways from the British Grand Prix that can be applied to this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone?
“I think it will again be another interesting race. The tire selection is a bit different, so everything we learned throughout the weekend and on Sunday is good. We can try to optimize everything. We have some ideas as to where we can get better, that’s what our focus will be on.”
With Formula One announcing a return to the Nürburgring in October – where you scored a third place podium in the 2013 German Grand Prix, plus the addition of Portimao and Imola, do you relish the return to a circuit with some happy memories and what experience, if any, do you have of the other circuits?
“I’m very happy with the addition of those tracks. Nürburgring is a great track and 2013 was a very good race. We had a bit of a different strategy and without the safety car I’d have won the race. I raced at Imola in the 2011 GP2 Asia Series, taking the pole and winning the feature race. It’s an incredible circuit with a lot of history obviously. I’ve only ever seen footage of Portimao, but it looks really good – let’s see what we can do in a Formula One car there.”
From a driver’s perspective is it exciting to go to new circuits and have that element of the unknown ahead of a race weekend?
“Yes – 100 percent. It makes a change from the routine we normally have. I am very happy with the calendar, I think it’s great fun. I think we’re going to have a good year going to these tracks.”
How do you work with your engineers to prepare for those tracks, is it predominantly simulator work? What do you specifically focus on as a driver in this scenario?
“Yes, I think the simulator is important. Also, getting all the information from the track, the scanning, the layout – everything to ensure we are ready for when we go there. It’s going to involve some work in advance, some simulator work, some onboards and so on, to really discover the track.”