Q. What’s the reaction been like within the team after that result in Australia and how have you spent the last ten days or so?
It was a fantastic start to the season for me and the team, who have done a great job with these new regulations in terms of both the chassis and powertrain. I went on holiday after Melbourne and even that felt a little bit better than normal thanks to the win. Now, though, I’m fully focused on getting the most out of this next race.
Q. It was a close in-house battle at MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS here in Malaysia last year: do you expect more of the same this weekend?
That would only be a good thing as it would mean that we would be right at the front again! At this point it may seem like we have a bit of an advantage but of course Melbourne was the first round of the season and so not really a benchmark race. I think we’re looking good but we need to be cautious with any predictions as there’s a long season ahead. The opposition never rests and we know they’ll be pushing like crazy, so we need to push even harder. I’m optimistic for the weekend, so hopefully it will be possible to have another great result.
Q. This new era of Formula One has been much discussed but how have things changed from a driver’s point of view?
I think it’s been a good change for the sport. The new rules have mixed up the pecking order a bit which is a positive for the fans and driving new technology is a big part of what makes Formula One so fascinating. ?The cars are great to drive too, so for me it's been a good thing.
Q. Another victory would see you match your father’s Formula One win tally: What would that mean to you?
It’s always interesting to make these comparisons. After Melbourne, I read that my father took his last Formula One victory at the very first Australian Grand Prix in 1985. It’s all a bit of fun but I don’t really like to compare. I’m proud of what my father achieved but right now I’m just focused on the job and getting the most out of it.