“Malaysia is very humid and very hot, a bit like Singapore. I like the Sepang circuit, it’s pretty cool. It has a nice combination of fast corners at Turn 5 and 6 and good overtaking opportunities at Turn 9. The weather can vary quite a bit as well. We can get some pretty big storms, but then the track can dry up very quickly because of the high temperature. Last year I did a bit of sightseeing while I was there, and Malaysia seems like a very beautiful country. I really enjoyed it.
“After Malaysia we go to Japan and I will spend a couple of days in Tokyo before heading to the track, which will be nice. Japan will always be a special place for me because I made my F1 debut there during Friday practice. Suzuka is a really cool track as well, especially Sector 1, it’s very fast and that’s what drivers enjoy. There is not much run off either, so you have to be very precise; it’s a proper old-school track, very challenging and demanding.
“Japan has some of the most passionate fans, they’re very sweet and the support we get from them is really nice. They give us all kinds of gifts as well, which they put a lot of effort into. I really enjoy Japan and it’s always good to go back there.”
“I like back to backs. Looking at Malaysia and Japan they are both very challenging circuits. Malaysia physically is a hot one. We usually go there at the beginning of the season so it is going to be interesting going there now with a lot more development on the car and seeing how it performs. I checked the weather and it seems pretty constant all year round so that shouldn’t change much, but Sepang has been resurfaced so that could be interesting for tyre life.
“Japan I have always loved, it’s tough for a driver, a proper racer’s circuit. The first section you have to connect all the dots because all the corners flow really nicely if you get it right. I love the food and people in Japan. I’m going to spend some days in Tokyo between the races and hopefully see a lot more of the city, try some more authentic food and experience a bit of the culture. There is Jiro’s sushi restaurant that I really want to try, it had a documentary made about it and is apparently really special so would love to eat there.”