“…I like tracks that climb and drop like this.”
“At the Red Bull Ring we will tackle the second race of the first back-to-back pair of the season and although this makes much more demands on the teams, who have to rush to get everything here from Ricard and get set up again, it can be pretty intensive for us drivers too. You have to think about distributing your energy between the two races, to stay focussed for a couple of weeks in a row. But really, it’s cool because we get to do what we love more often. It’s challenging, but in a good way and we do not have far to travel that much, compared to the long distances at the start of the season. As for my record at the Red Bull Ring, I finished second in three Formula 3 races, but in Formula 1, things have not gone so well. I like the track layout, with a good combination of straight lines and some fast corners where you can really feel that the Formula 1 car is working at its best. There are also some slower corners and heavy braking points, so I enjoy this track and the fact it’s a short lap means the actual racing can be very exciting.
“It’s a home race for the Red Bull family, so we can expect to have a lot of support there, which will make it a cool and enjoyable event in what is a really beautiful setting in the mountains. That means the gradient changes a lot during a lap and that makes the driving more interesting. With the downhill runs it takes longer to slow down so it’s important to judge the braking distance, which provides some good overtaking opportunities and the high-speed corner that drops downhill is also fun to drive. I like tracks that climb and drop like this.”
“We never have enough driving…let’s go racing again!”
“I had an average weekend here last year in Formula 2 as I finished fifth in both races. It’s a track with very few corners, most of them high speed, which means that every one of them is very important. It’s a technical track in the sense you really have to get everything right. It’s complicated with a lot of elevation changes, which is not easy, but it does make for good racing. There’s plenty of overtaking opportunities, especially with the downhill sections where you can pass if you get your braking right. With three long straights, the slipstream effect is really big here. Because the rhythm of the track is long straight-tight corner, long straight-tight corner, what happens is that it produces good racing, because you are not stuck in dirty air and can follow the car in front much more closely, which means you can have a good fight, without having to hang back because of the dirty air.
It’s a nice track, set in a really cool area. I love the mountain setting and all the greenery. It’s a home race for us as part of the Red Bull family, so I want to do well there and I’m sure they’re planning lots of fun activities for us four Red Bull drivers to take part in over the weekend. It’s the second race of the first back-to-back doubleheader of the year. I like them, I like going straight from one race to the next and it does make a difference in FP1 at the second of the two races, you can feel that you immediately have a better rhythm, having driven the car just a few days before, rather than ten days. It feels as though you never stop, you just keep on driving and that’s something we drivers will never complain about!