Talk us through your average race weekend.
It’s much more than you see, for sure. I arrive at the factory in England on Monday evening, ready for the simulator day on Tuesday. You travel to the track on Wednesday. Thursday is the media and prep day. Today is the practice day, which is more focused on the performance and driving, with a bit of media as well. Then qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday. Sunday is my favourite day, definitely. The racing is what I am here for.
You need to be in peak physical condition to drive an F1® car. You can’t eat junk food, right?
I can’t, for a few reasons. Not for weight. I’m naturally slim. It’s for performance. You are stronger and perform better if you eat healthy food. I tend to lose quite a lot of weight during the season. Actually, I put on 3kg during the summer break. After finishing the first half of the season, I was only 3% fat, which is too low.
If you could have any driver as your teammate, who would it be and why?
For sure Michael Schumacher, he was always my idol. I still have a similar helmet design, even if today it is pink. One day I will go back to red. The other one would be Ayrton Senna. I think I could have learned a massive amount from these two drivers.
How important is your teammate?
It’s important to beat your teammate, that’s first. But it’s also important to have a strong teammate who can score points for the team and help improve the car. When we are both on the same page, we move forward as a team.
Where will you be driving next year?
At the moment, I don’t know. I’m here and I’m racing with Racing Point Force India at Spa, but I don’t know what the future is going to bring. Nothing is signed yet, so we will see.