Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s fourth year. It’s been a tumultuous one, but as the adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. With the adversity the team has faced this season, do you actually feel stronger going into 2020 because of how this year’s experiences have forced the team to adapt and troubleshoot?
“I definitely think so. I think the team has learned a lot this year, not in terms of results, but in terms of performance. Overall, the team has done a really good job this year and really stepped up. Obviously, we’ve had a difficult car, but that’s really how the team has proved itself this year, in terms of how we’ve worked with the car and worked around the problems we’ve had. I think we’ve had a much more difficult car than, say, 2017. I think we’ve handled things much better and gotten more out of it. Also, it’s allowed us to be much better prepared for next year. We’ve come a long way and we all feel pretty excited about next year.”
Did this year produce a silver lining in relation to next year in that when it comes to car development, you know which direction not to go in 2020 and that you’re also part of a team that is a little more battle-tested?
“I really think it’s down to what we learned this year, and especially that we’ve learned a lot that we can use into next year’s car. We all feel we need to take a different direction next year, which has obviously already been taken. The development of next year’s car is well and truly underway – it has been for a little while. A lot of the stuff we’ve been doing this year is in preparation for next year. I wouldn’t say we gave up at all on this year’s car, but we knew we had to shift focus onto the 2020 car instead of trying to save this year’s model. That’s better for us than if we’d tried to turn the 2019 car around. It’s better just to try and get what you can from the current car, but really try and focus on 2020.”
What is the first thing you’ll do to begin the offseason?
“I’m going to get lots of friends and family over to London from Denmark. We’re going to have some fun and relax for a bit. I’ll enjoy not having to go to the airport every other day.”
When it comes to your physical training, do you take a little break during the offseason or is the offseason a time where you ramp it up?
“I won’t be taking time off from physical training. It’s part of my everyday life. I think it’s really refreshing to get into a nice rhythm without being disrupted by traveling and races which, although we love racing, in terms of training, it’s not ideal. You can’t train as hard over a race weekend as you can in off weeks and weekends. The winter is really where you build up your base fitness and prepare for the coming season.”