How would you describe the feeling of driving these 2014 cars? What’s coming to you through the steering wheel?
Well, I think I probably speak for every driver when I say that last year’s car felt better. It was perhaps a little bit nicer to drive when we had lots more downforce. But that was a car that was in the fourth year of its evolution. Now we’re in a new phase and it’s something that just takes some time to get used to. The sound, for example, is different to what we have had in the past but once you get all 22 cars out on track, I’m pretty sure it will still be as impressive for the fans.
The relationship between you and your team-mate is a hot topic at the moment; how do you see your on-track battles affecting that?
Everyone seems to be talking about the relationship between Nico and I but it will be the same at the end of the season as it is here at the start. We’ve been racing together since we were 13. We’ve also been in championship battles which have gone right to the wire – one which he’s won, one which I’ve won – but it’s always been the same. Formula One is undoubtedly a more fiercely contested championship and a lot more is riding on it but at the end I don’t see there being any issues. We’re always trying to find where the advantages can be between two drivers. From race to race I think we’ll see one race where he’ll be ahead and another where I’ll be ahead, the same as we saw last year. Obviously the goal for each of us is to be ahead all the time, so we’ll see how it unfolds.