How was your first day at the wheel here in Jerez?
I’m smiling after a day like that for sure. The whole team did a great job; working together all night back in England and here at the track to get everything fixed and flown back out here this morning after the issues we had yesterday. I want to say a big thank you to everyone for that first of all. It was such a great day on track as well; I just drove and drove and drove! We did loads of laps and that’s what we need at the moment; it’s the only way you can really progress, get rid of any reliability issues, and try to understand everything better, so it’s been a very positive day.
You were swapping lap times with a few cars today; how did that feel?
We’re not looking at the others right now; the team are focused solely on ourselves and making the most of the package we have. At the moment the cars are quite a way off what we will see in Melbourne and for sure there’s performance to come from every team, so at the moment it’s just about getting that reliability and racking up the miles! This day has gone well for us, but yesterday was not so positive so we need to be cautious. We can look at ourselves and be happy that we were on target for the day with the amount of mileage we were able to do; that’s the most important thing.
You drove the W05 in a shakedown last week, but what are your thoughts after this first full-blown run?
The car feels pretty good. It’s heavier, but in the same way as last year’s car felt when it has a lot of fuel on board. Of course, there’s less downforce, the engine is different, and you use higher gears; in a hairpin you might be using third rather than first. Then there’s the sound, which reminds me a little bit of watching Formula One in the 80s during the first turbocharged era. Of course, we’ll find out more about the car’s performance over time, but for now we have to keep pushing and focus on getting the miles in to be sure we make the finish line in the first couple of races.