- Well done and glad to see Lewis back on fighting form! Was the new track tarmac a big factor on tyre performance for the team?
JV: "Another good question and it's one we were asking ourselves in the build-up to testing and also into the race weekend. For those that perhaps aren't aware, the tarmac was completely resurfaced at Barcelona this year. In winter testing, we had the opportunity to really sample it for the first time.
"The way the car interacts, there are several factors from a track that are important. One is what is the track surface like? The second is, what's the layout of the track? In other words, how many high-speed, mid-speed, low-speed corners and the length of the straights. They very much affect how the tyre is behaving.
"Further to that you have ambient conditions, how warm it is both in the air temperature and the track temperature. You put all of that into a melting pot and that's really what defines how well the car and the tyres are working.
"The new track surface, what it really does is it resets a lot of the knowledge you have had from Barcelona previously - a track that we run at commonly - almost back to zero. Yes, the corners are the same layout, but how the tyres operate and how the car operates is very, very different. That would've been the same for all teams. They would've all taken time to iterate to what the correct set-up was.
"Then, when we went from the test, which was reasonably cold, towards the race weekend, where we had track temperatures around 43 degrees on Friday, you really have to adapt yourself quite dramatically to those changing conditions to get everything out of the car.
"Ultimately, though, there was a big, big change. The tarmac change really was more significant than anything else as we went into that race weekend. So, all teams had to adapt, learn and start again."