Interview with Antonio Pizzonia

For Antonio Pizzonia, the Brazilian Grand Prix will be a very special occasion. Not only is it the Jaguar Racing driver's first ever home grand prix , the preceding week represents a chance for Antonio to go back to his home town of Manaus and to...

For Antonio Pizzonia, the Brazilian Grand Prix will be a very special occasion. Not only is it the Jaguar Racing driver's first ever home grand prix , the preceding week represents a chance for Antonio to go back to his home town of Manaus and to see his sister get married.

Q: Interlagos will be your home race, are you looking forward to going back home and how will you handle the pressures that you will face in front of a home crowd?

Antonio Pizzonia.
Photo by Dave Dyer.
Antonio Pizzonia: I was last at home at Christmas, so I am really looking forward to seeing my family and friends again. Brazil will be a special race and despite it being my home race I do not feel under any more pressure then usual. If anything, I have less pressure, as I know this circuit and I will not be wasting time learning it over the weekend. Once the red lights go out, I forget the crowd and get down to business.

Q: The Interlagos circuit is anti-clockwise, does this affect your ability to perform and do you undertake additional exercises to compensate for this change of direction?

AP: It does feel physically different going round this circuit and it is your neck that feels it the most. This will be my first time on the circuit in an F1 car so I am looking forward to it and hopefully the change of racing direction will not affect my ability to race. After the race in Malaysia we are already well prepared for this race in terms of fitness levels so I have no worries there. In fact I suspect that the Brazilian drivers are far more at ease here than the majority of the F1 drivers.

Q: Tell us about your experience at Interlagos and highlight your favourite corner.

AP: I first drove at this circuit in 1996 in a Formula Ford. This was my first time in a race car and I liked the circuit immediately. I then raced here with F3000 and did a couple of races. It is actually quite a bumpy track so this puts additional strain on both the driver and the car. Despite the bumps my favourite corner would have to be the first. It's got good overtaking opportunities and sometimes you can even go round the outside!

Q: What off-track activities do you have planned in the run-up to the race weekend?

AP: I will be spending most of my time in Manaus in the days leading up to the race weekend. My sister is getting married so there will be a few celebrations this coming weekend. There will be so many family and friends to catch up with that I doubt there will be much time to relax. In addition to this, I have team commitments and will be attending a Jaguar Cars and HSBC event in Manaus on the Monday evening. I suspect that this weekend will be as busy for me as it was for Mark in Melbourne.

Q: Looking back at Melbourne and Malaysia, what have you gained from these races that you can take with you to Brazil?

AP: I learnt a lot from these races. I have now settled into the race weekend format and everything is less new and tiring than it was over the first month. I am more comfortable with the R4 and as I know Interlagos well I will be spending more time on race set-up and less getting to know the circuit. I have a good team to work with and despite not completing the first two races we have gathered so much data that we go to Brazil better prepared.

Q: The HANS device has received mixed reactions from the drivers, how have you been getting on with the device?

AP: To be honest, I have had no problems with the safety device it has actually been quite comfortable. I struggle to get my belts as tight as I would like but I am sure that this is something that we can work on over time. Anything that helps with the safety of the sport is a good thing.

Q: You are one of three Brazilian drivers in Formula One, how are you getting on with Rubens Barrichello and Christiana de Matta?

AP: The Brazilian drivers are great, both Rubens and Christiana are good guys although to be honest we spend little time together. We are all busy with team activities that the only time we catch up is during the driver's parade and even then it is short. I suspect that this weekend we will see even less of each other as we fulfil our family commitments.

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Jaguar Racing