Can Williams finish strong at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?
The season-ending Abu Dhabi grand prix is back in on the Formula One calendar this weekend, and despite the title having already been decided, according to William’s Valtteri Bottas there is still plenty to fight for:
ESQ: Tell us about the season so far
VB: It’s been a case of mixed feelings. We have had some great results but we always want to win. If you don’t then you can’t be too happy. We want to do a lot better and expected more of a jump from last year. But overall it’s been positive; we’ve had some great results and we are getting stronger as a team. We have a great group of people and I work very well with Felipe Massa.
What are your thoughts on the Abu Dhabi circuit?
It’s the final race of the season so it’s obviously very important and we need to get good results to end it well. It’s a great place to race; I like the track, it’s where I tested the F1 car for the first time. I’m looking forward to it.
What can you remember from last year’s race?
I finished third and we ended it with a double podium. I think I can speak for the team when I say I remember the whole race and the way we finished the season, even if Abu Dhabi doesn’t make much of a difference seeing as it isn’t double points this year [double points for the final race was a one-season experiment in 2014].
How do you think the race will play out this year?
It’s the last opportunity for the team to get a good result. It would be nice to end the season on a high note with a positive result. After that, everyone can have their well-earned break.
What does it take to be a Formula One driver?
As with any career or sport it takes hard work and dedication. If you want be the best you need to work at it. I am living the dream, enjoying every moment of it. Whenever I get in the car, I am reminded how lucky I am to be able to do so.
How do you balance fame with the need for staying focussed when it matters in your work?
You have to be able to cope with everything. It’s not only about the driving, there are other activities involved as well. The season tends to get busy and there’s a lot of travelling too. You need to find the moment to relax in between races and do something different to try distracting your mind from it. We have breaks in August and in the winter, so we can be full of energy and ready for the next race.
Do you have a particular fitness regime?
You really need good endurance. I do a lot of running, cycling and gym work. Some of this includes exercising the neck, because for Formula One you need a strong neck. Driving is obviously the best way of training, but we need to work hard outside the race track to improve in the right places.
Do you stick to a certain diet?
At the race, I have specific meals that work specifically for good digestion during the drive. The food provides you with the right kind of energy with quality fats, carbohydrates and proteins, made just for the driver. It’s important.
“We need to get good results in Abu Dhabi to end the season well”
What is your race day like?
I sleep well and sometimes I have a jog after I wake up early. It really depends on my mood because sometimes I may choose not to do so. After a good breakfast, I head straight for the track and meet with engineers to discuss strategy. There are also sponsor activities and meetings. I then have lunch more than two hours before the race and if I have time, photos with some people, but then it’s directly to the track. The day and weekend goes by so quickly.
What was your first ever car and which one do you remember with the most fondness?
I definitely had a go-cart, but my first proper car when I was 18 was a Ford Cougar. It was like a coupe and was alright at the time. I haven’t had many cars but I liked my Ford.
Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, November 27-29. For tickets visit tickets.formula1.com