With tires and tire management having dominated much of Formula One’s double-stint at Silverstone – does that frustrate you as a racing driver or is it simply part of the package in modern Formula One?
“I guess it is part of modern Formula One, but if you ask me what I think of it, yes – it’s a bit disappointing. It’s not that the tires wear, that’s understandable, the more you push the more you wear the tire. I think the disappointing part is that you need to manage the temperature for overheating, therefore you have to drive slower to keep the grip, so you reduce your lengths. I think the driver should have an impact on the tire wear, for sure, but not so much on the performance of the tires because they overheat.”
Is your Q2 qualifying performance from the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix the highlight of your season to-date? What was the key to unlocking those qualifying laps both in Q1 and Q2 in the VF-20?
“I guess the key to getting the laps in both in Q1 and Q2 was to keep going in the direction we worked on at the British Grand Prix. I didn’t have a good qualifying session, but I thought we had the pace to go into Q2. I was really hoping at the second race weekend I was going to do the job – I did, and the car felt good. The set-up direction we took worked really well for me; I was happy with it. I have a much better front end on the car, and that’s really helping me to improve qualifying. So, yes, it’s a highlight of the season, and I’d say in both races I was performing as well as I could with the VF-20. The Silverstone races were really good.”
Is there value in going to Spain now and comparing the data from the VF-20 with what was learned in pre-season testing in February, or does the temperature difference racing there in August simply negate any possible comparison?
“I think we need to see the weather, but it’s most likely that it’s going to be hot. It will therefore be very different from winter testing. The car has matured, and we’ve evolved from where we were. I guess we’ll have a look, just out of interest, but my feeling is that it’s going to be very different.”
What are your Spanish Grand Prix highlights from your five point-scoring performances there in Formula One?
“I think it’s from 2012 – where I scored my only fastest-lap in a grand prix in the Lotus E20. It was good race, I really enjoyed it. 2014, I had a terrible car, but I managed to score points. I’ve had some good races there. We all know the track very well, but obviously we always try to do the best that we can.”