The last race weekend in Austria was not an easy one for us overall, so I was delighted to come away with the win and even more so for the team to have both cars at the front when we crossed the line. The atmosphere at the circuit was really great and, being so close to Germany, it almost felt like a home race for me. Silverstone is another special one for me, as I managed to win there last season. It was actually very close to my birthday and I had a really cool experience after the race. There’s usually a fan festival with rock bands and all sorts after the track action finishes, which is something I go to almost every year. This time, I was up on stage doing a quick interview and the whole crowd started singing Happy Birthday to me, which was very cool! The British fans are absolutely fantastic. So I enjoy going to Silverstone personally, but really this one is all about the team. For the hundreds of people at Brackley and Brixworth it’s a home race and many of them will be there with their families and friends across the weekend. I want to put on a good show and get the best result possible out of it for them after all their hard work this season.
Silverstone: In The Cockpit With Nico
Silverstone is such a fantastic circuit. It’s seriously quick and watching from the outside you can really see what makes Formula One cars so special in terms of the speed, the downforce and everything else. This year, with the new Turbocharged V6 Hybrid engines, we’ll be arriving into the fast corners at higher speeds, which is even more exciting. For the fans too, there will be more sideways action thanks to the reduced downforce in the cars. It should be pretty spectacular as you see the drivers really show off their car control.
For me, Copse (Turn Nine) is one of the toughest corners and of course Stowe (Turn 15) which comes after the Hangar straight. Both are pretty good overtaking opportunities, especially with the DRS zones, so that makes them even more of a highlight around the lap. There aren’t many heavy braking zones, so it’s all about maintaining momentum through the medium and high-speed corners.
It’s a circuit that we drivers know well, as it’s been on the Formula One calendar pretty much every year in the history of the sport and also features in many of the junior racing categories. The thing about Silverstone, though, is it can be very unpredictable – no matter how many times you may have raced there. The weather is always changing, with wet conditions usually affecting at least one of the sessions. The wind, too, is a big factor. It can be really strong and can change direction during the weekend, so it can have a significant effect through the high-speed sections and you have to adjust your braking points for the slower corners too. It’s a great challenge and one I’m really looking forward to tackling in this car.