In the series’ most recent race in Belgium, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team returned its cars to a single aero spec. After running its two cars in different aero specs in the three races prior to Belgium, how helpful was it to have both cars theoretically bringing back the same data?
“We ran the newest spec in Belgium, which was good to have both cars running it, in order to compare across the cars. We also had to do it, as we can’t run a low-downforce spec with the old spec car. It was a natural decision, but good for the future.”
Did the time spent at Spa-Francorchamps – a high-speed, low-downforce venue similar to Monza – assist in your preparation for the Italian Grand Prix? Do the two tracks have enough similarities where there’s significant carryover from one venue to the other?
“Yes and no. We run the car with even lower downforce in Monza, so it’s not going to be the same car, but there are some things you can carry over with setup. Feeling the car at low downforce at Spa gives you an idea as to how it will feel in Monza.”
The summer shutdown is always welcomed by the Formula One industry, but how good was it to get back in your racecar at Spa? And more specifically, what do you want to achieve in this last stretch of races before the season concludes?
“It was good to get back in the car, but it was good to have had a bit of a break also. It doesn’t take long to miss being in a racecar, so coming back and racing it at Spa was good. It wasn’t a good weekend in Spa with the accident in F2, obviously. For Monza, hopefully as a team we’ll have a better weekend. As for the last stretch, I want to achieve more points. Hopefully, we can grab that opportunity if it comes. We don’t always have the pace in the car – we’ve learned that this year – but we just need to grab it if it comes.”
Monza, like Spa, is a circuit steeped in the heritage of Formula One, with the Italian Grand Prix also marking the end of the European schedule. As a driver, are you able to appreciate and soak in the atmosphere at such iconic venues, and do you feel some of the newer events on the calendar, such as Singapore, Austin and Abu Dhabi are developing a level of history and heritage for themselves?
“The older tracks with history are great. It’s good to go to those kinds of places. As drivers we love it, and I think the fans like it as well.”
The Tifosi are a renowned part of the spectacle at the Italian Grand Prix with their passionate support of the home team, Scuderia Ferrari. How would you describe your fan base and what are your own fan highlights from being in Formula One?
“Monza’s obviously known for the Tifosi, and it’s great to see and experience. My own fan base is spread out across the year. Spa is probably one of the races that attracts the most Danish people. It’s the race closest to Denmark, so quite a few people drive down there. Italy is a race that quite a few go to as well. I enjoy those races because of that.”