Pastor is buoyed by the potential of the E23 Hybrid and reckons Sepang should suit the squad.
Despite an exceptionally short Australian Grand Prix, Pastor is buoyed by the potential of the E23 Hybrid and reckons Sepang should suit the squad.
What are your thoughts looking to Sepang?
Sepang is a good track and I really like the challenges it presents. Itís very interesting from an engineering point of view, especially the aerodynamics, but also the tyres because the asphalt is very aggressive. Hopefully the race will be much longer for us than it was in Australia!
The weather can be quite interesting at SepangÖ
We know the weather at Sepang can change a lot; in fact it is usually either extreme heat or extreme rain, so very tropical and weíll need to be ready for everything. Also the high temperatures are hard on the cars in terms of reliability. From the driving point of view it is quite stressful as well. All round, I would say Sepang is one of the toughest races of the year. Weíll need to be strong in all areas.
On reflection, what are your thoughts on the Australian Grand Prix?
From our perspective it was a very short race! It was really frustrating as the car looked good all weekend Ė better even than it had looked in testing Ė and we had good potential with our race pace and durability. Then my race was undone in the first corners. There was nothing I could do as there was contact occurring behind me which then collected my car. It was difficult to look at the damage done to the car as I knew how hard all the crew in the pits and the rest of the team at Enstone had been working. Thatís motor racing sometimes, unfortunately. I didnít see much of the rest of the race but I was told it wasnít the most exciting. Hopefully weíll be in action for all of the Malaysian Grand Prix to ensure itís better to watch, and better for our results!
What could have been possible in the race?
Everything looked very positive for a strong top ten finish, maybe even top five. Our car was strong and we adapted to the track well. The weather was in our favour and we had great potential.
Do you think Malaysia could offer similarly strong opportunities?
Itís still very early in the season so there will still be surprises as teams learn their cars and unlock their potential. Certainly, everything weíve seen so far with the E23 suggests that it should be a good all-rounder. Sepang can get very hot, and our car seems to like hot conditions so that could be a point in our favour.
How difficult is a mixed weather Grand Prix?
We know that we sometimes see heavy rain in Sepang, so it wonít be a surprise if we do see mixed conditions this year. Certainly, it can give the engineers a challenge in terms of setting up the car if thereís a wet session, or if thereís rain between the sessions as it can change the track conditions. Itís the same for everyone, of course, and at least itís hot and wet which is far better than cold and wet!
Do you do any particular training for the humidity?
It is very humid in Malaysia, so you do have to ensure you have a good fluid intake, but in terms of training itís a very similar programme to that you follow all year. I work closely with my trainer, Fabrizio, to ensure good all-round fitness, but in particular that Iím as fit as possible to drive an F1 car which is the primary focus. I come from Venezuela so Iím used to hot weather.