Emilia-Romagna GP 2021 - Red Bull preview
The Bahrain Grand Prix was an eventful race weekend. How do you look back on it?
It really was eventful, I thought the race was over before we even started, but we were lucky to get the car going. It’s always important to maximise the ‘bad days’ and get the most out of them and in the end it was a very positive race recovery with some good points scored for the Team. I think it was also very important to drive those kilometres and complete the race distance in order to get up to speed quickly with the car, the Team and all of the processes.
What was going through your head on the formation lap when the car stopped on track?
I had no clue what was going on but I stayed calm. Everything just shut down, the radio, the telemetry, everything was fully off and for a moment I couldn’t do anything. I was about to get out of the car and then that second, we managed to turn the car back on. In the end I think we were very lucky I stayed in the car and we managed to get going again, even though we had to start the race from the pit lane.
Our car qualified on pole, but we lost out to Mercedes in the race. Just how close is the fight with them?
I think it’s going to be very tight with Mercedes and we’re going to see if the fight is circuit related. It will be interesting to see how we are in Imola, on a very different track to Bahrain, and see how we compare against them.
What did you learn about the Team, about Max, about the car over the course of the race weekend?
I learned a lot. I learned more about Max’s driving style and how the car has to be driven to extract the maximum from it. I think that was the biggest learning, I know what balance I need from the car throughout the weekend.
What are your expectations heading to Imola and what will be important in ensuring we have a good weekend?
My goal is to have a good race and I’m looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully in Imola we can come back and be in contention to fight for a podium and hopefully the win. Unlike Bahrain, qualifying is very important at Imola as you can hardly overtake there but I like it.
There is a long season ahead but was it satisfying to take the first pole of the season?
Of course, the race in Bahrain was a great start to the season, it was a positive weekend in terms of performance but there are no guarantees heading into Imola. We had a positive start to the season so hopefully we can keep that up but it won’t be easy and we need everything to work perfectly to beat our main competition.
The Bahrain GP was an eventful race weekend. How do you look back on it now?
Of course there are always things we can do better, but that’s always easy to say after a race weekend. As a Team we always look to improve but that’s a constant thing we are working on, we always want to be thinking ahead. Even if we had won the race in Bahrain, there are always areas to improve, especially when you are fighting a seven-time world championship winning team, so that’s what we will continue to do in Imola. I’m up for the battle and it’s still a very long season.
How is the RB16B handling and is it more enjoyable to drive than RB16?
I don’t think you can compare both cars because there are a lot of different factors such as the tyres and the aero changes but the RB16B definitely handles well so far. We’ve also only been to one track so every single weekend you have to try and find a good balance in the car again but everyone enjoys that challenge of Formula One.
How excited are you going into Imola and what can we expect on this track?
I’m feeling really relaxed going into this race weekend in Imola, I’m looking forward to going back there. Last year we had quite a good race until the tyre issue. Again, it’s too close to the start of the season to know how we will perform, we’ll have to wait and see what happens on track. The desire comes from within and I am motivated to try and win every single race. So let’s see if we can go one better.
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