“Brazil was another weekend where it just didn’t come together for us in the race. Even though I pushed as hard as I could, it was again a frustrating afternoon with no points. Now we come to the final round, which will be important as it’s our final chance to take eighth place in the Constructors’.
It’s going to be a very emotional weekend of course. My last one with the team after five years spent together. It means our relationship has been much more than just a working partnership. I know all the engineers and mechanics and the people in the factory personally, having spent time together even in our private lives. It’s the last race of a long history, as I don’t think many drivers have spent five years with a team. There have been so many really great moments that we have shared together and what’s certain, is that whatever happens this weekend I will be trying my very best in the hope we can end with a good race and a nice result. But apart from that, I just want to enjoy the weekend as a whole and to think of all the great times we spent together over the past few years.
As for the race itself, last year I finished fifth, but this year I do not have such high expectations, because our performance has been hard to predict from one race to the next. This year, it has generally been difficult for us to fight for points places, but that is still our aim and personally I would love to end this story with Scuderia AlphaTauri by finishing in the top 10 together one last time.”
“Sao Paulo turned out to be a difficult time for me right from the start, as I just could not find the grip. Changing the car set-up completely before the race helped a bit, even if I had to start from the pitlane. However, I still wasn’t completely happy with the car. I hope we can find a solution to feel better in the car for this final race.
Last year in Abu Dhabi was a fantastic weekend for me, just brilliant. I have very happy memories of how the season ended there. It was a great end to my first year in Formula 1, qualifying eighth and then finishing fourth, just one place ahead of Pierre, so that it was a fantastic team result too. I felt I was able to show what I could do and demonstrate to my team the extra confidence I had built up by the end of the year. It would be nice to be able to repeat that this time, but I am not expecting too much, as last year’s car was better than this year’s. All the same, I will tackle the weekend in my usual way and see how it goes. The Yas Marina circuit can be quite tricky, and tyre degradation in the final sector can be a problem, so your set-up has to be somewhere in the middle. You cannot have a perfect set-up that suits every part of the track.
I will be sad to see Pierre go. He has been a really good teammate both on and off the track. We became real friends away from the track and we also had a great professional relationship. I learned a lot from him at every race, especially last year. I would not have made as much progress as I have without him. So, I will say a big thank you to him and I hope we can enjoy this last race weekend together.”