You had a good weekend in Sochi with pace throughout practice, qualifying and the race that resulted in a points-paying finish. Can the momentum and key learnings from Sochi be applied at Suzuka?
“Yes, I think so. We had a good weekend in Sochi. We had good pace all the way through the weekend, which was nice. The car seemed to be in a good place and performing well. We managed to get a couple of points at the end – despite the penalty – so that was good.”
How helpful was the team’s speed in Sochi for company morale, where the effort that’s been put forth throughout the summer finally paid some dividends?
“The work that the whole team has done since the beginning of the season has been really good. We started off the season in a pretty good way, but we lost our way a little bit and I think we’ve had a tough streak of races. Now, it seems we’re slowly getting back on our feet. That’s great to see and a testament to the great work the team has done.”
You’ve been quoted as saying that Suzuka is one of your most favorite tracks in the world. Why?
“Suzuka is great because it’s just such a high-speed, flowing track. Formula One cars are great at high speed with the downforce we have. Any track that we go to that has high-speed corners, it’s always pretty good fun. We might have a good shot at some more points there. Our car’s usually good at high-speed circuits. Let’s see how it goes.”
Beyond the racetrack, what is most often talked about at Suzuka is the passion its fans have. Can you describe the atmosphere at the track and the fervency Japanese fans have for Formula One?
“I love the fervency that the Japanese fans have and I’m looking forward to seeing that come into play at the weekend. It’s something special for a driver to experience.”
When you leave Japan you’ll be gearing up for Haas F1 Team’s home race – the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Where do you want Haas F1 Team to be heading into that event?
“The United States Grand Prix is a fantastic race. I really like America. I like spending time there. For a new track, it’s a great one. Usually newer tracks are pretty boring – there’s a tendency for that, for sure. I think Circuit of the Americas has done a great job. I think other tracks should take notice of what they do.”