Nico, your second consecutive pole position in Bahrain! How are you feeling?
It's fantastic to be on pole again here in Bahrain. I really enjoy the track and I won my GP2 Series title here so it has some pretty special memories for me. We've had a good weekend so far and I've been able improve my pace throughout the practice sessions so I was hoping for a strong qualifying. It's so difficult to get everything completely right with all the new technology and set-up requirements on the car but I felt really comfortable this evening and was able to put some great laps together. I'm looking forward to the race as I had a good run on high fuel but we're going to need to be careful with tyre degradation.
It’s seemed like a fairly smooth weekend for you so far: has that been the case from your perspective?
We’ve worked well through the weekend: planning our way through the sessions and understanding what direction to take with set-up and so on. The challenge here is that the afternoon practice sessions are in such hot conditions compared to qualifying and it’s very difficult to predict what sort of set-up you need for the cooler conditions in the evening. It worked out well for us, though, and I was feeling comfortable throughout.
Only one other car went through Q1 on the medium tyres: how much of an advantage will that be in the race?
It’s definitely an advantage. We’ve clearly got a quick car at the moment: especially on this track because it suits our strengths. But even at a track like this one, the opposition have really picked up the pace and we need to keep pushing. Starting from pole is obviously a great thing but there’s a whole different challenge awaiting us in the race.
It’s been a close battle between you and Lewis all weekend so far: will the entertainment continue on Sunday?
Lewis is always tough to beat. We’re here to race and to put on a great show. We owe that to the fans, to everybody, to put on a fantastic show and that’s what we will do.