[B][I]Since the transition to NEXTEV to NEXTEV NIO has there been any staffing changes that have required a shift in procedure or rapport?[/I][/B]
There’s a new engineering team and mechanics, so like any team in any sport, it takes a bit of time to work together, build up the relationships and procedures. I think we’ve done the best job we can, but every weekend we work together I’m sure we’ll continue to improve as a team.
[B][I]The tight turnaround between sessions obviously requires everyone to be on the ball. Is there any other category you’ve been in that has the same compressed schedule?[/I][/B]
I think in single-seaters this is the most compressed schedule you can have in one day with practice, qualifying and the race. It kind of reminds me of when I was racing karts where we used to have many sessions throughout the day; you’d have practice, qualifying, heats and then a final. Those days were filled with good memories and good racing. It’s always an intense day, but an exciting one.
[B][I]Does that schedule affect your nutrition in the way you schedule things[/I][/B]?
Yeah. You just have to be as prepared as you can before you arrive so on the day you don’t have to spend as much time doing all those things. The more Formula E weekends you do, the easier it is to make sure you’re drinking and eating the right things all the time. I work with a nutritionist and it’s always about maximising the energy you have during the day. The whole week beforehand you want to be well rested. The team also does a lot of preparation as well in the simulator.
[B][I]It was quite hot in Hong Kong, how accurate have simulations proven to be when cross-referenced with race weekends?[/I][/B]
It was different, but our summer testing was also quite hot so we had a good reference from our private testing. But of course with street circuits you don’t get as much airflow with the buildings, walls and other cars around you. It changes things and managing the battery temperature and energy is important. In Hong Kong it was certainly challenging.
[B][I]Being a new track (like Montreal and New York) does it lend itself to hypothetical scenarios when planning strategy?[/I][/B]
You always want to maximise your energy during the race. I think the track layout can influence that, but that’s where our preparation comes in with the simulator and the work from the engineers. It’s the same for each track in the way we prepare, so it doesn’t change the strategy so much as it does how the race is going in terms of your position. Safety cars can have a big influence and as we saw in Hong Kong, the timing of the safety car can be quite influential.
[B][I]The driver has more information than the team when out on the circuit. Do you think being able to relay that info to the team creates more excitement than the other way around – with the team feeding the driver the info?[/I][/B]
It works both ways. As drivers we have information about what’s happening on track, but also the team can have more of an overview of what’s going on in the race. So communication between the driver and engineers is quite important in terms of relaying information about what the other [party] can’t see.
[B][I]The manufacturer interest in Formula E has exploded over the last 12 months. With the potential of Mercedes joining the circus in two years do you feel you’ve made a shrewd move in joining the series?[/I][/B]
Yes. Since Formula E was announced I was very interested in the championship. With my engineering background I’ve always had in interest in technical developments and I think that’s where Formula E offers more than other championships. The opportunity to develop new technologies and electric powertrains is something that’s very exciting. Having more manufacturers joining is also exciting for the championship and its growth. I’m very proud to be a part of NEXTEV. They were the first team to give me an opportunity to be a part of Formula E at the end of season one. I’ve always been loyal and faithful to the people who have helped me and I’m glad they’ve done the same. I hope we can continue the journey together and hopefully win races and win the championship for them.