Doornbos looks back at Melbourne

After a solid start of the 2005 Formula One season as Jordan Grand Prix Third and reserve test driver, Robert Doornbos throws a glance at his experiences of Melbourne's season opener last weekend, as well as looks forward to an intensive fitness...

After a solid start of the 2005 Formula One season as Jordan Grand Prix Third and reserve test driver, Robert Doornbos throws a glance at his experiences of Melbourne's season opener last weekend, as well as looks forward to an intensive fitness programme in Malaysia in the next few days.

Robert Doornbos.
Photo by Jordan Grand Prix.

Q: How did you experience last weekend's Australian Grand Prix?

Robert Doornbos: Very well! When I arrived at the paddock on Wednesday afternoon, it was just like seeing your old classmates at the first day of school after having enjoyed a long summer break. I felt immediately at home with both the team and the Formula One paddock. In the Drivers Briefing several drivers, among whom Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard, treated me with a warm 'Welcome back!' as well.

Q: How did your performance look like the entire weekend?

RD: After I'd fitted a new seat at Thursday morning, me and my engineer kind of worked our way through all new technical specifications on the car. Also on Saturday and Sunday I learned a lot about the car, the engine, the tyres and the strategy, by attending all briefings and sessions in an active manner.

Just like last year, most of the days I arrived at the circuit at 07:30h and stayed there all day, only to go back to my hotel late in the evening. Hopefully I can be from great importance to my teammates by being so concerned and motivated.

Q: And talk us through your Friday, please?

RD: Both sessions combined, I drove an entire Grand Prix distance in Friday's Free Practises. I mainly concentrated on doing long stints in order to get a complete insight of the potential of our Bridgestone tyres. Among others, Kees van de Grint (Manager Racing Tyres Bridgestone, red.) provided me with much helpfull information, for which I have to thank him.

With the new regulations, one really has to use his head to get the best out of the tyr es and not be too aggressive. Because I already did 50 laps on my set of tyres, I wasn't able anymore to put down a really quick lap at the end of the session. But next time I'll have a new go for that."

Q: Did you feel any differences on this car compared with last years?

RD: Yes, definitely. After my last test at Jerez de la Frontera in December 2004, the team increased the level of downforce significantly with about 20%, which equals approximately 100 kilos! Therefore the car handles much better. Also Toyota did a great job for the team over the last couple of months. Their engine offers a good driveability and is really responsive. It's a big plus for the team!

Q: Can we also count on the Albert Park cirucit to be one of you favourites?

RD: It was fantastic! The circuit has a nice lay-out and by its semi-street characteristics it's definitely challenging. The track has small run-off areas and because you get pretty close to the walls at certain points, you can really feel the speed. I'm a fan!

Q: Did your intensive preseason physical preparation pay off?

RD: Absolutely. Because I stayed in the Formula Medicin gym almost without any interruptions in the last couple of months, I could drive an entire Grand Prix distance without any problems last Friday. And don't forget I didn't drive a Formula One car for almost three months!

Q: How does your upcoming one and a half week 'break' look?

RD: I just arrived in Kuala Lumpur where I'll prepare myself both physically and mentally for the next Grand Prix together with my trainer. Because of the heat, this means I have to drink 5-6 liters of water each day in order to be fit for all our planned exercises in the upcoming days. Next week I've also planned some PR activities for Sobranie, Benson & Hedges eastern brand. But honestly, I can't wait to get back in the car again at Sepang. I'm really counting the days!

-www.robertdoornbos.com-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Robert Doornbos
Teams Jordan