Carlos and Lando have given their thoughts ahead of the F1 season opener at Austria this weekend. Even though this will be Carlos's last season with the team he seems focused as ever and prasies the McLaren during testing.
“After a long and difficult time away from racing, it's finally time to get back at it! It's been my longest period without competing since I started in go-karts many years ago! The MCL35 felt really good during winter testing, a positive continuation of what we had last year, so I'm very excited to finally compete this season. It’s also been an interesting period away from track, but now we’re back to racing I’m completely focused on the 2020 season. Due to less races in the calendar and the strong competition we expect from our direct rivals we can't afford to lose concentration. We actually don't even know the amount of races we are going to do, it's an unprecedented scenario, so every point we can get is absolutely crucial. As always, I will do everything to perform at my highest level and help the team. I've been keeping fit and ready to get back in the car, so I’m ready to hit the ground running in FP1.
“Last year we did well in Austria, having to battle into the points from the back of the grid due to a penalty, so we know there are plenty of opportunities for on-track overtakes. However, it's difficult to confidently predict our performance given the time away from track. The double header at the same circuit presents a new challenge for everyone and we need to make sure we extract the maximum out of it. I know that by the time the lights go out on Sunday, we'll be more than ready to fight for the best position possible.”
Lando has been a big personality in the world of esports over the lockdown period and has competed in many different races. His fellow races George Russel has become even quicker on the Williams simulator due to his recent success in the online world, lets hope that this can also pay dividends for Lando going into this season.
“I can't wait to get back into a Formula 1 car, it’s been a long time coming! This break has been the longest I’ve ever taken since I started racing at seven years old, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been working hard throughout this period away from track to stay sharp and ready to go racing again. I’ve been training at home a lot and spending plenty of time on my simulator. I’ve also managed to get some karting and F3 sessions in with Carlos over the last few weeks to help get race ready as best I can.
“I’m pleased we’re getting started again in Austria, it’s a great, fast, track and we performed well there last year. It will be an interesting challenge to race there two weekends in a row, but also a great opportunity to analyse how the first race could have panned out differently and adjust our strategy for the second. I expect all of the grid will be feeling a bit rusty going into FP1, but I’m sure we’ll all be back up to speed when it comes to qualifying on Saturday. It will be a real shame not to have the fans at the track as we feel their support, but safety is the priority and we’ll be doing everything we can to give them a good show.”