Nico: “I’d like to drive all day, every day!”

Nico: “I’d like to drive all day, every day!”

Sum up your final day on track here at Jerez?

It’s been a good day for us. We managed to do a full race simulation this morning plus a couple of additional laps on top of that. The goal coming here was to do a lot of mileage and we’ve managed to achieve that quite well. It’s a surprise to have completed so many laps, as it’s such a mission with this new technology. To get this reliability so early on is a big positive. It’s still early days of course, but it’s only by doing the mileage that you find out where problems may lie, what the strengths and weaknesses of your initial package are, and what you really need to focus on. We’ve learned a lot this week and that’s a good thing, so it’s been a good start to the year.

After such a long stint this morning, was it a relief to take a break during the afternoon?

I’d like to drive all day, every day, but we’re a team and as such we needed to level things out in testing to make sure each driver gets the same opportunity to do a similar amount of laps. It’s perfectly normal.

What have you learned about the W05 during today’s session?

Driving wise it’s all been pretty similar this week. The big difference of course is the Power Unit; the lower revs, the sound, the gears you use, and most of all getting your head around how best to make use of all the new technology. It was wet out there this morning so I was running the intermediates, but there wasn’t much degradation so they’re looking ok so far. The dry tyres are quite hard, so we may see a few less pit stops than last year.

So, a more straightforward week than you might have expected, then?

We expected it to be very tough coming into this week and it was certainly not an easy start with what happened on Tuesday, but the team did a great job to turn it around so we can be very pleased with that. I expected it to be a lot worse. Of course, there have been some small issues here and there but that’s completely normal and we’ll push hard to get on top of that.

Do you feel like you are on the pace at this early stage?

We have no idea where we are in terms of pace and I’m not even thinking about what our competitors are doing right now; our focus is on our own performance and hitting the right targets in terms of completing as many laps as possible. Reliability is the priority; as time goes on that focus will shift towards pace but we’ll have to wait and see how quickly that transition happens.

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