1) What do you see as the merits of joining Renault? Renault will be one of the best teams in the coming seasons, and I want to be part of a winning team. The test programme they have offered to me seems very interesting for my apprenticeship,...
1) What do you see as the merits of joining Renault?
Renault will be one of the best teams in the coming seasons, and I want to be part of a winning team. The test programme they have offered to me seems very interesting for my apprenticeship, and I expect I will learn a great deal this year.
2) What does it mean to you to work for Renault?
Renault is a legend in Formula One. When I was about 10 years old, I always watched Renault winning on television, and to be directly involved in their philosophy is a dream come true.
3) How much did you learn last year, your first year in Formula One?
The first year is always when you learn the most because everything is new. To drive with Minardi was good because I could work without pressure and concentrate on learning how to be a Formula One driver. I had my first experience of many Grand Prix circuits and that will be helpful in the long-term.
4) How vital will this year be to your experience and your future?
I hope to gain more confidence throughout the year and I think my job as a test driver for RenaultF1 will be very important because if things go well I will win a place to be an official race driver in 2003.
5) How does the car compare to the one you drove last year?
It is quite different. Renault is more competitive and the engine is more powerful. We will be able to make many changes to this car throughout the year, and there are many things to test and improve for each race.
6) You will be the stand-in driver for Renault. If you are called up, what would it mean to compete for Renault in their debut season?
If Renault needed me to drive in a race this year I would be prepared to put in all my effort and give my best. But at the moment I think of this year only as a test driver.
7) How crucial is the role of test driver?
Teams can run many tests and develop the car significantly. That helps to improve results, and test drivers are important for the teams because the budgets are much more now, which allows more testing.
8) How much work will you be doing this year?
I am going to work very hard and I expect I will do double the number of kilometres I managed last year. We will be testing throughout the year, and we will always be looking to improve. The season will be quite hard.
9) What will it feel like not to race when you travel to Grands Prix?
At the moment I do not know how I will feel, but after seven years of competition it will be the first time I will watch the races from the pits. I suppose it will be a little strange.
10) Do Jarno, Jenson and yourself have a good personal relationship?
I get on very well with them both. We were in Kenya doing a physical preparation programme over the winter and it was really good to get to know each other. Now we have a pretty good relationship.