Romain, P3 on the grid for the season opener in Melbourne tomorrow; you must be delighted?
For sure, it’s very cool! We’re all very proud of what the team has achieved and I think we deserve it. Everyone has been working really hard and like I’ve said before the atmosphere within the team has been fantastic right from the beginning of winter testing. I’m proud to be a part of this team and proud of everyone here today and back at Enstone. The main positive from today is that we now know for sure that the car is quick, whereas before we didn’t have any idea where we were compared to the others.
What went through your mind when you crossed the line and found out where you had qualified? Were you surprised?
I didn’t know straight away as we had to wait for some of the other drivers to cross the line, so it was quite tense! I remember going through the first corner and seeing P3 on the big screen, but it wasn’t confirmed until I got to turn three and heard Ayao on the radio saying “Well done mate!” To be honest I was a bit lost for words! It’s a fantastic feeling, and hopefully one that we’ll have many more times throughout the season. The race tomorrow is where it all counts; I’m just going to get my head down and try to make it as good as what we experienced today.
You’re a long way up the grid, and the first corner at Albert Park is known for incidents; do you have a strategy in mind for the first lap?
Well the good thing is I’m on the second row, not the fourth, fifth or sixth for example where it gets even tighter! We’re in a great position. The race is 58 laps so I’ll try to be careful through the first corner, but I’m a racing driver and I want to be looking forwards at every opportunity. We’ll see what happens at the start and just work from there.
The start lights will go out at 17:00 local time tomorrow afternoon for the opening race of the season in Melbourne, with an intriguing plot line in store for the team as Kimi and Romain face very different challenges.