I always like going to Silverstone, the track is incredible to drive and the British crowd that turns out to watch the weekend is always massive - whether itís wet or dry everyone always looks like they are having a really good time. This year I will be staying in the UK after the race which is good because normally we have to leave straight after. Itís a busy time right now, we had Red Bullís home race in Austria, the Teamís local event here and then we go to my home race in Germany! This race has an extra element as itís so close to the factory and a lot of the staff who work so hard on the car will be watching from the grandstands with their families - I hope we can get a good result for them. As the factory is only about half an hour or so from the track a lot of the race team live nearby and can sleep in their own beds for the weekend which surely is a nice thing for them. I have good memories of Silverstone, the best must be winning there in 2009 and Mark won there in 2010 and 2012 so we have a good record at the track.
Silverstone is great. Itís just a great, great racing circuit. Itís fast, itís flowing and you really get to rag your car for all itís worth. Thereís nowhere better at letting you know how very, very good an F1 car is than Silverstone, and in particular through that ultra-fast Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex. The two hairpins at Turns Three and Four give you quite a variation of racing lines, even though theyíre Ďjustí hairpins. You can push hard through the first one and sacrifice the second or you can do the contrary. The more I drive it, the more I also enjoy the new section because it creates more chances for overtaking and itís not as straightforward as it looks. Iím looking forward to my first race with Infiniti Red Bull Racing this year at Silverstone, I know a lot of the guys are going to be watching at the track so Iíll be going at it for a good result.
Whatís special about the British GP?
Well, Silverstone is a fantastic event. Itís the Factoryís local event, itís great that there are so many fans there and itís a unique atmosphere with all the camping and the smell of BBQs Ė thereís always a real buzz about the place. Iíve been going there since 1992 and you always get anticipation, in a good way, when you go through the main gates.
And what about the British fans?
Theyíre among the most knowledgeable in the world and thereís a tremendous support for motor racing in the UK, not just in Formula One, but across all the disciplines of motorsport and theyíre some of the most loyal and dedicated fans of all the countries that we visit. We always get a fantastic reception - they appreciate good performances, so irrelevant of the nationality of the driver, theyíve always respected the performance of a sportsman.
Itís the Factoryís local race, does that make a difference?
Itís fantastic that weíve got so many of the factory attending the race, and we have a team grandstand so everyone can sit together and cheer on the guys on track. The factory is only about 20 minutes away from the circuit so itís fantastic to have so many of the team attend the race, to see their cars that they work on tirelessly all year, it is their one opportunity to see them live in action. And it gives an extra element for the race team as well, knowing their colleagues and families are in the crowd supporting them.
And what sort of show do you think the team can put on for those in the grandstands?
All things being equal obviously the Mercedes have got such an advantage at the moment itís going to be tough to beat them, but as we saw in Montreal recently, anything can happen and weíre going to be pushing hard. Renault are working hard on their side and hopefully we can give them a bit of a run for their money.