How was your Christmas and what have you been up to in 2014 so far?
Christmas was very nice. I spent Christmas and New Year in Finland so I actually got to spend a whole month there with family, friends and my girlfriend. I was doing a lot of training so I’m feeling very fit, but it was also a good time to recharge my batteries. I’m now feeling 100% ready for the season.
What training have you done over the winter and when did the 2014 focus start?
I had two weeks holiday straight after Brazil, so it was mid-December when I started to training and focusing on 2014. The training includes a lot of different things, running, cycling, reaction training and also gym work. Due to the new regulations I’ve had to squeeze a bit off my weight, so the training was longer than normal.
With the new regulations coming into effect, which of them do you see as the most challenging and which one is the most exciting?
I think the most challenging thing for the driver will be the new engine, how it will affect the driving style as you will have more torque from the engine and also understanding the ERS system, how it will charge the batteries and then how it will release the power. Those are the main things for the driver. It will be exciting to see where we are in terms of car pace as there are so many changes. I think for us it’s a great opportunity to catch some of the other teams, that will be very interesting. We will get some kind of idea from testing but the best place to see will be in Melbourne.
You are back at the factory this week, what will you be doing in that time?
I’m here for the whole week. The first day is for a seat fitting as we have to make a new race seat for the FW36. Then there are a lot of meetings and also catching up with people. It’s also a first time for me to see bits of the new car, and a talk with all the mechanics.
I will also be in the simulator preparing for the first test and to learn some of the new things on the car so it’s a useful tool for me to get an idea of the regulation changes.
What are your thoughts on the double points for the final round?
It’s the same for everyone, as a driver we don’t make the decision, we just take what comes and sometimes it can be good for you, other times it can be bad for you. From the fans point of view there is a bigger chance that the championship will be decided in the final race and that’s exciting, so I don’t see that as a bad thing.
You have a new teammate for 2014, what is your relationship with Felipe and how do you think you can benefit from him?
I get on very well Felipe. He’s a very nice guy and a great driver. Together, working for the team, we can find improvements but also push each other all the time to do better so I’m very much looking forward to that.
Last season you were a rookie, what is the most important thing you learnt in that year?
Last year was my first season. It was a tough season as we struggled a bit with our car and at the same time I was trying to learn a lot of new things. The main thing I learnt was not to give up and to keep on fighting and doing your best, even if there are problems or the pace isn’t there. The more you push the quicker you improve, both the car and yourself.
How has your approach to the 2014 season differed from in 2013?
Coming into the season there is no difference. My goal is the same: to do my best and work well with the team to get the results. This year I have a bit more experience which is always nice.