ďFor me the favourite things about the Australian GP are first of all the fans. Theyíre pretty awesome, every day we go to the track we get a pretty big greeting from everyone and they are super enthusiastic, itís cool! The track is fun, I love street circuits so for me Melbourneís got really good flow, really good corner combinations, lots of left/right, left/rights which is cool. And Iím not a massive fan of the European winter so getting back to Oz, not only to race but just to get back to some sunshine is great. To hear the Aussie accent, have some good Aussie food and live that summer lifestyle is great, so not really much to complain about!
ďTestingís been a lot better for us this year. You still donít really know where you are until you get to Melbourne, but weíre better prepared than we were this time last year so we can use that as some confidence. Me personally, Iím ready to go Ė I was ready in January and Iím still ready now! Just keen for those lights to go out and to get racing! I think everyoneís excited to get going, but even if the race was elsewhere I think thereís no-one more excited than me to go racing, period! But the fact that itís in Oz and Iím going to have more supporters than anyone else, hell yeah Iím excited!
ďIn fact, Iím going to have to control my adrenaline because thereís a long build up over the weekend. Sundayís cool, itís probably the quietest day of the week for us in terms of other obligations so itís really time to just focus on the race. When Iím on the grid on Sunday, itíll just be full focus, full determination, knowing that Iíve got a battle on my hands the next hour and a half, a battle Iíll look forward to!Ē
ďI think compared to this time last year, Iím feeling a lot more confident and comfortable in the team, I know everyone a lot better and everyone knows me, so itís good that we start off the season with this kind of confidence. With my engineers for example, we all know each other very well and with everyone in the garage too Ė we all know what each other is doing and what to expect from each other Ė so itís good!
ďLooking at the Australian GP, I like Melbourne itís a nice, chilled out place with good food, a good beach and sunshine. The track is quite unusual, there is no other track you can compare it to; itís half street circuit, half normal circuit with tight run off areas. You have to maximise your entries everywhere, be very precise in your driving Ė I like it.
ďI feel like weíre prepared going into the first race, weíve done a good amount of work in winter testing with all the procedures we were after. We maximised everything and we know what to do in Melbourne and thatís the most important thing so there are no big question marks now and thatís very good.
ďCompared to Danielís Australian GP weekend, Iíll just have less media to be honest! But then Iíll get the punchback in Russia soon after! Itís a more relaxed weekend for me, I have a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday Ė I like being in Australia so itís good for me. Daniel has much more time to stay in Australia anyway through the year so itís OK he can suffer for a bit!Ē