Looking back at the Portuguese GP, how do you reflect on the race weekend and what positives do you take heading to Spain?
Of course I expected better things, however I prefer to see the glass half full and I’m happy with the progress we have made in terms of adapting to the car.
Imola and Portugal were very complicated races, but I learned a lot. We were running at the same pace as the leader group, and we scored some good points, this can only get better.
The championship fight with Mercedes is so close right now. How does that change the atmosphere in the team, specially into the race weekend?
I’ve been here for a short time, but since I got here the atmosphere has been the same, everyone on the Team is working towards the same goal: winning races and aiming to the championship.
It is something completely different from what I’m used to and the motivation is really high. I’m very happy to be here and to be part of this effort, I’m pretty sure I won’t let this Team down.
We are starting to build a picture of tracks that might suit our car better versus others. Do you think Barcelona will be a good opportunity for us or does it not play to our strengths?
I think we should be in the fight right from the start. It is a very particular track, with very slow corners and then three and nine are high speed corners, so the key here is to find the right balance and to take care of the right side tyres. The wind is also something to consider. It’s a very tricky circuit, but as I said, we should be competitive from the beginning and fight for the win.
Barcelona is a track all teams and drivers know very well unlike the last two races which have been at new circuits such as Imola and Portimao. Is this a good thing and do you enjoy the track?
Yes it is a special place, in 2011 I scored my first points in F1 and who knows, maybe could be the place for my first podium with Red Bull. It’s a track where qualifying is very important so I’m pretty sure we are ready for this challenge. This year we didn’t have our usual winter testing and last year the track conditions were different from the ones we usually have in May. I’m really intrigued about what the RB16B can do there. Last year this was the first race I drove after I had covid and I had a good result, so yes, it is a track I enjoy driving.
As the races are coming thick and fast now, how do you reflect on one race and prepare for another in such close succession to each other?
It is exactly when the work we made in the off-season kicks in. This year I prepared myself like never before, so I think it is a matter of being ready mentally, especially after not the best result. It’s important to turn the page quickly and be ready to get back to work.
We had triple headers last year and that of course was very demanding, however the double and triple headers are harder for the Team in the garage, and I always feel bad for them, because they have to spend so much time away from their families. But we are pros and we will be ready for sure.
– Red Bull Racing Honda