Canadian Grand Prix Drivers' Conference

Canadian Grand Prix Drivers' Conference

DRIVERS – Sergio PÉREZ (Red Bull Racing), Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes), Nico HÜLKENBERG (Haas), Lance STROLL (Aston Martin), Pierre GASLY (Alpine), Oscar PIASTRI (McLaren)


Q: Now, Lance, our local hero, can we start with you? Home Grand Prix. What makes this race different for you?
Lance STROLL: I Well, it's home. I grew up here, so, you know, 20 minutes away from the track, so it's always special coming back.

Q: Give us a little bit of history. When did you first come to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
LS: Oh, back in my young days, yeah, when I was just a little guy, I remember the Schumacher days, early 2000s, coming to watch the race here was always a very exciting weekend. And yeah, I mean, inspired me in many ways to be here today, you know?

Q: And you've scored points in four of the five races you've contested at this racetrack. What is the secret to a good lap?
LS: It's a fun track. It's got, like, some big kerbs and technical aspects of it. Not much margin on exits with the walls being close. So I've always enjoyed the challenge here. And the weather can always be interesting. It can always be a fun factor too, which it looks like it might be this weekend, so we'll see.

Q: It does, doesn't it? Rain in the forecast. Just quickly, do you think Aston will be more competitive this weekend than they were in Monaco last time out?
LS: I hope so. We seem a little more competitive on the tracks with longer straights. And our car is, I think, pretty efficient. So I hope.

Q: Alright. Best of luck. Enjoy the home race. Checo, why don't we come to you next? Many congratulations are in order. Two more years with Red Bull. How straightforward were the negotiations?
Sergio PÉREZ: I think like every negotiation, you always have a process to go through, which is not always really nice to do it in between the races where everything is flat out. So it's really nice to get this distraction for the team and for myself out of the way so that we can focus on pure performance. And I think that's the best thing for our team.

Q: The deal takes you through to the new technical regulations in 2026. Just give us your thoughts on how you view the competitiveness of Red Bull over the next two years or so.
SP: Well, I think, like you say, there are some great teams making a lot of progress and we've got to do the same. I think it's always great to be part of a set of regulations with the team, you know, when you're changing regulations and you're part of that team, you're already working on that, giving some ideas here and there, and it's something really quite nice to have, to be able to be part of that.

Q: Alright, Checo, and let's bring it on to this weekend. How do you view the competitiveness of Red Bull here in Montréal?
SP: Well, I think it's... I hope it's not as severe as it was in Monaco with the right issues that we had there. We've done some work, some analysis, and I think it's great to have straightaway sort of a similar challenge to Monaco in many aspects. So it will be an interesting one, but I do expect us to be a little bit stronger. I don't think it will be our strongest track, but I really hope that we can be fighting up there.

Q: Alright. Best of luck this weekend and congrats on the new deal. Lewis, let's come to you now. Back to the scene of your first Formula 1 victory and six subsequent ones as well. You've always gone well here. What is it about this place?
Lewis HAMILTON: I don't know. Hi, everyone. I think it's probably just kind of a street circuit and a bit like a go-kart track, long straights. So it's a track that bodes well for late brakers and someone that's aggressive, I guess, aggressive driving style.

Q: And is that you?
LH: I think I've had an aggressive driving style for a long time, yeah.

Q: Tell us about the car and your chances this weekend. The team is telling us that you're making a lot of progress in recent races. Are you feeling that in the cockpit?
LH: Yes, the car's continuing to improve. I think everyone's obviously taken a step hopefully closer to the Red Bulls, and I think that's been really positive. But incredibly proud of everyone back at the factory, just how hard everyone's working and how resilient everyone is. Everyone's just staying very focused, head down. The morale's really great in the team, so I'm hoping that we can get closer to these guys and start actually competing at the front with these.

Q: Do you think that's possible this weekend? Is a podium on the horizon?
LH: I don't think it's far away. And so we've got the upgrade. Both cars have the upgrade this weekend. So I'm looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.

Q: You've got the new front wing. Going to out-qualify George this weekend?
LH: I'll try.
Q: Alright. Well, Lewis, good luck to you. Nico, what about Haas? Tell us about your chances this weekend? How hopeful are you?
Nico HÜLKENBERG: Yeah. Somewhat optimistic. First of all, I love this place. I love this track. It's probably one of my favourites, if not the favourite. So looking forward to just get out there. I really hope there is going to be some dry running, too, and not just the full wet. It's more low-speed content, the circuit, which kind of helps and suits our car better. So that makes me a little bit more optimistic to be more competitive.

Q: I'm interested that you're hoping for a dry weekend because...
NH: No, just to exploit the track, just to drive in the dry as well, to take the kerbs at the proper speed and everything. It's a different sensation in the dry compared to...

Q: But in terms of your chances this weekend, hoping for a bit like last year when you qualified second?
NH: Yeah, I mean, there is no guarantee when it's wet or changeable conditions that you're going to do well. But obviously that spices things up, puts everyone more on the edge. I don't mind it, but I’ll take it as it comes.

Q: Nico, Monaco was obviously a really difficult moment for the team. Just how is the mood in the garage this weekend?
NH: It's good. I mean, yeah, it happened, but, it's done and dusted. No point… There was not much to debrief or dwell on it. Obviously, you know, look forward and focus on the task and the racing ahead now.

Q: Alright. Best of luck this weekend. Thank you, Nico. Pierre, let's come to you now. How encouraged were you by the pace of Alpine last time out in Monaco?
Pierre GASLY: Well, I must say it was pretty positive. First Q3 of the year, we managed to show some good speed throughout the whole qualifying, Q1, Q2, Q3. So definitely some good signs. Obviously, we know Monaco is kind of a particular track, so we know we might not be in similar positions on all the tracks, but definitely some good signs.

Q: Well, what about here? It's a very different layout, but there are some similarities to Monaco in terms of the corners.
PG: Yeah, it's still... We know we're still a bit on the back foot, and we're trying to rethink a bit how we want to approach this car concept. So at the minute, it's mainly focusing on maximising what we got. And as we can see, a lot can happen on race day. So yeah, we'll see. We'll try again our best. We know we're fighting for a point right at the back of the top 10. But hopefully, we can be in a position to repeat the performance of Monaco.

Q: Now, Pierre, since Monaco, it's been announced that Esteban Ocon is going to be leaving Alpine at the end of this season. How does that news affect what you're going to do in 2025?
PG: To be honest, absolutely nothing. I think, you know, at the minute it's quite clear the position I'm in. And yeah, for my future at the moment, I have nothing really to announce. And then, yeah, you guys will know in due time.

Q: Just a couple of words on Esteban. What kind of a team-mate has he been for you at Alpine?
PG: Yeah, it's been... I'm just taking time to think, because I know how you guys are going to take every single word that comes out. It's a long story between Esteban and myself. And I think so far in the last year and a half, we managed to work and co-operate very professionally. So I think this is important to mention. It hasn't always been easy, as you would imagine from two very competitive drivers. But yeah, considering the story between us, I think it's been It's been good. So, yeah, I will say I'll stick to these lines.

Q: Alright. Thanks, Pierre. Best of luck this weekend. And Oscar, coming to you now. The last three races have gone really well for you, culminating in that second place in Monaco last time out. Just tell us about the progress you feel you've made in that time?
Oscar PIASTRI: Yeah, I think, like you said, the last three weekends have been very solid, I think, for the whole team, but also for me personally. Monaco was really the first time that we got a really strong result out of it. But yeah, I mean, clearly the car is performing well at the moment and I feel like I've taken a step forward as well and been able to build some consistency in the last few weekends, which is always nice. But yeah, I feel like I'm in a good place.

Q: Have you found something in the set-up, or is it purely a confidence thing?
OP: I would say more just a confidence thing. I think there have been good moments here and there, even at the start of the season. I think the first few rounds were quite promising, a couple of difficult races in the middle, but on the whole, I feel like I've taken a good step forward in quite a few areas from last year. I think it's just been the consistency that's really been the missing thing. So the last few weekends have been good to try and get on top of that. But I don't think I've done anything special. I don't think as a team we've really done anything special. We've just got the car in a good window. And with the upgrades, clearly it's performing well. So yeah, I think we're all just taking it up a notch.

Q: And what about this weekend? You qualified ninth, finished 11th here last year. Are you expecting more?
OP: I hope so. I think we can be pretty confident that we'll be somewhere in the mix, which is pretty exciting to say. I don't know if we'll be the favourites, so to speak, but I don't really know who you can say are the favourites at the moment. So, yeah, excited to see where we come out. Hopefully it's better than finishing 11th. But, yeah, I think we're definitely in the mix now, and I think the last few weekends have proven that on very different tracks.

Q: (Nelson Valkenburg – Viaplay) For Oscar, you said it's a different feeling to be in the mix. How different is it from thinking you'll be going for a podium, and going for a win? Is it a familiar feeling from your junior days?
OP: In some ways, yes. In some ways, no. I mean, it's always more exciting when you're fighting at the front, obviously. That's what we're all here for. I'm very fortunate that I have the opportunity to be able to be in that position. But, you know, we're all here because we've been successful leading into F1 and we all want to win. So, yeah, it is very exciting having that opportunity. I think last year... There were points where we could get a podium, but a win was never realistic, I would say. Whereas this year, a win is certainly on the cards. And I would say the last few weekends, with a few things going slightly differently, then there's been a lot of potential. It does bring me back a bit to my junior days. And it does change the feeling of how you go racing a little bit. It doesn't change the approach, I would say. But of course, when you go into a weekend knowing that you can fight for a win, it's a bit nicer than knowing that you should be trying to fight for a point, maybe. That was us 12 months ago. So, you know, I guess I know already what it's like to be in both positions, but I think we all know which position we'd rather choose. And I'll stop there.
Q: (David Croft – Sky Sports F1) A question to Sergio. Congratulations on the new deal. It's been a long and very successful career in Formula 1 that extends for another two years. But on announcement of the deal, there was a reaction from some people that said you've only been signed to keep your team-mate happy. What's your message to people who think that?
SP: Well, I think in Formula 1, there are always different agendas, and I really get that. It's something that has been with every driver since we got in the sport. And I think the best thing to do is just to close the visor and focus on my job, do the best for myself, for my career. And at the end of the day, when my career is finished, it's the only thing that will matter to me. What people have to say or not… I mean, I appreciate that everyone has their opinion, but at the end of the day, I'm here to do the best for my career and I'm happy with what I have achieved.
Q: (Roldán Rodriguez – DAZN Spain) A question to Checo as well. Congratulations again for the renewal. How do you feel about that? And also, what was the toughest point to agree with the team?
SP: Well, I obviously feel happy once you get an agreement. It really means that both parties are happy with what we got, and happy to move forward. And obviously, we’ve got great targets ahead of us. Red Bull is a team that really takes everything out of you. It's something that since I came here, the amount of how intense everything is on track, off track, and it's a challenge you don't have anywhere else. I haven't had that sort of challenge in my career. When I sign, I'm really up for it and willing to give my 100%. It was just a very straightforward negotiation. Obviously, I've been in the team for a few years already, so it's always, I think, when you are already there, it's a lot easier to reach an agreement.
Q: Checo, was it Red Bull or no one for you, or did you enter negotiations with other teams as well?
SP: I mean, you're always talking to two different teams. There were other options out there, but for me, my plan A, B, and C was definitely to stay at Red Bull. I really want to finish my career here, wherever that is. It's a team that has given me so much into my career that I'm just really happy. And yeah, I just want to give my best to this team until my last lap.
Q: (Patrick Laub – Servus TV) Checo, first of all, congrats also from my side. But when we look at the numbers and the results, it's no secret that your opponents, like McLaren and Ferrari, have come really close in those last few weeks. And I'm sure there are several reasons for that. But as one for them, how would you actually experience right now the effects of maybe having less wind tunnel time than maybe other teams?
SP: Well, I think it's natural, you know. It's the third year of the same regulations. It's natural that teams are coming closer to us. We're finding it harder as well to find performance. But, yeah, I think we know where our biggest chunk of performance is going to come from. I don't think we have unlocked that much during the year compared to other teams. So hopefully once we are able to unlock some of that performance, we can be in better shape, especially at different types of circuits. But yeah, the competition is super, super high. And I think this weekend there are three or four teams that can potentially get the victory. So I think it's great to have this competition.
Q: (Nelson Valkenburg – Viaplay) Question for Lewis. Lewis , you already spoke about the improved potential of the car and the way that it's heading. What aspect of the car is improving, and what is then needed more to be able to fight for the podium?
LH: The biggest improvement I think coming into this year has been ride quality and being able to get the car lower, which is what others have been able to do. And then stability on entry of corners. The car is far more predictable than it ever was, particularly the last couple of years. And particularly this year, it's a lot more stable, so we can be more committed into the corners. But then through corner balance is where we've been lacking, where some of the others have really taken a big step. So that's what we're trying to work on.
Q: (Roldán Rodriguez – DAZN Spain) To Lewis as well. In the contract with Ferrari for next year, The question is, was Frederic Vasseur, a man you know pretty well, he was directly involved in your contract? 
LH: Yes. Yeah, he's the boss and really a huge amount of support from John Elkann, who I've got a great relationship with. And so with those two together, Fred and John, we worked really closely.
Q: (David Croft – Sky Sports F1) Lance, we don't often talk about your contract. I know you said you're committed to the F1 project with Aston Martin, but does that mean we'll see you on the grid in 2025? Is the home race a good time to announce that? 
LS: Yeah, that's where my head's at, for sure. Seems to be a pretty popular question that I've been getting asked recently. And yeah, it's super exciting. Everything that's happening at Silverstone and the project with the team and how we've grown over the last few years. And we continue to grow. So it's definitely in my mind, too, continue being a part of that, but really focused on Montréal this weekend and enjoy my home race and trying to have a good result this weekend.
Q: (Mike Doodson – Mike Doodson) A question for Sir Lewis. Lewis, one part of your campaign against prejudice in the sport involved your current team's cars appearing in black for a couple of seasons. Looking forward, have you considered asking John Elkann to support you in the possibility of your Ferraris appearing next year in black instead of boring old red?
LH: Well, I mean, I haven’t driven a black car for a while, so I probably won't be pushing for that too early on. But no, I mean, we've definitely spoken about impact work and John and the team have a lot of philanthropy work that they do, so we'll be working very closely with Mission 44 and with the impact stuff that they're doing. I think within the sport, we have to continue to do more, but more outside we'll be doing quite a bit together. So that's really exciting.
Q: (Jake Boxall-Legge - Autosport) A question for Checo, please. Congratulations again on your new deal. You've secured an extra two years. Given that you'll be approaching 37, I think, by the end of 2026, are you looking at this like your last contract, or have you got a few more years left in you? Thank you.
SP: Well, certainly when you look at Fernando or even Lewis, there's a long way to go. But I think I didn't sign my last contract. I don't think I've done that. I don't think it's something that you feel. Because when you commit to two years in Formula 1, it's a lot of time, a lot of energy, and it's a long way down the line. So yeah, to be honest, I don't really think about that. But yeah, what I'm pretty sure about is that I want to finish my career at Red Bull.
Q: (Raphaël Guillemette – RDS) Pierre, are the directives reinforced for this weekend within the team? Has the dynamic changed a little bit with what happened in Monaco?
PG: Can you repeat the question, please?
Q: (Raphaël Guillemette - RDS) Are the directives any different within the team, considering what happened last weekend and the announce of the departure of Esteban within Alpine?
PG: Well, I think the directives were pretty clear in Monaco. Unfortunately, it's not what happened on track. But yeah, I'm pretty confident that moving forward, we won't face any issues.
Q: (Luke Smith – The Athletic) Lewis, a question for you about the new car regulations coming in. You've always said that these cars are too heavy and too wide. We're now taking a step in the right direction for 2026. Could I get your reaction to that? Are you glad F1 is moving in the direction of lighter cars?
LH: I mean, it's only 30 kilos, so it's going in the right direction, but it's still heavy. So, I've only just seen what you've all seen this morning, so… I don't really have huge thoughts on it just yet. I've spoken to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator – I haven't – but they said it's pretty slow. So we will see whether it's actually the right direction or not. But I think in terms of sustainability, particularly on the power unit side, I think that's a really bold step and I think it's going in the right direction. We've just got to make sure the cars are efficient, fast, and a natural step forward, and actually racing is improved.
Q: (Lawrence Edmondson – ESPN) Question to any drivers that have driven the ’26 regs in the simulator. What can we expect from the cars, and what are the early findings? I don't know if any of you have, but...
NH: Yeah, it's certainly quite different. Some interesting areas and aspects. I think some that still need a bit further work. Like Lewis said, I think the weight reduction is good, but then 30 kilos is also… It's not the world. It looks like a lot less downforce, especially high-speed corners. It will be quite a different scenario and characteristic to now. So, you know, there is going to be definitely a drastic change. And, you know, change is always… You're not always so open to it. But, yeah, we'll see what happens between now and, you know, in the one and a half years, if there might be some small adjustments or not with what's going on.
Q: (Simon-Olivier Lorange – La Presse) A question for Nico. We all know there are a lot of changes coming up in the teams and drivers and everything. You already know where you're going to be next year. Is there something weird or awkward or unusual knowing this early in the season? you're going to be in another team next year? How do you manage that, actually?
NH: It's not much to manage, to be honest. It's all in theory, you know, in six, seven months’ time, when it starts. It's actually quite comfortable for me for the first time in my career, you know, that I that I'm kind of secured and I know where my future is and I watch the musical chairs from a distance. And this is, you know, comfortable and kind of a nice situation to be in. Like I said, usually I've been on the other side, so it's good from that point of view. But for the moment I'm fully focused on the season with Haas and everything and next year, like I said, it's all in theory and still quite far away, so it's not weird or awkward or anything.
Q: (Ronald Vording – It's a question to Oscar, Checo, and Lewis, please. You were all talking about the pack getting closer and the field bunching up. Do you feel that such a huge overhaul for ‘26 brings a risk of creating bigger gaps again? And do you feel that leaving the regulations stable for a longer time should be the way forward for F1? 
OP: I mean, I kind of agree with both points. I think every time the regs have changed, it's led to a pretty big spread, especially with engines, 2014 being the last time with that and kicking off a really long period of dominance. And I think we've seen even with these regs, we're only just starting to catch up to Red Bull, week in, week out, now. I think we have an important place in society to be at the forefront of technology and innovation, and I think that's always what F1's been about in some ways. And I guess you could argue that sometimes that does come at the cost of the racing, which is always a shame. Yeah, I think both points are kind of separate, really. I wouldn't be surprised if the teams sort of separate a bit more in 2026, both with different aero regs and especially the engine regs. There's a very big chance, I would say, that the teams are going to be more spread out than what they are now. But we'll have to wait and see.
LH: Probably similar to what Oscar said. I think it's difficult to say, but more often than not, when they've done the changes, some teams do better than the others, and there is a bit of a difference early on. I hope that with this new regulation change that everything's a bit closer, and the engine's not complete revamp. It's not like moving from V8 to V6, so hopefully through that, that doesn't make too big a difference, and then it's just about getting the cars right.
SP: Yeah, I think we... Otherwise, we’ve got to enjoy the year and a half that we’ve got left with this regulation in this very close racing. Because there's always a potential that someone is going to get it right – very right – like we've seen some other teams have done that in the past. And then it's really difficult. It takes a few years to catch up. So I do expect that to happen in ‘26. As always, I think the best for the sport will be to keep the rules as consistent as possible. But also, like Oscar said, there is a lot to do with the sport, with the technology involved to attract new manufacturers.
Q: (Nicolas Blasquez – AFP) Pierre, you say you will communicate your future in due time. Do you have a deadline? And is Alpine your plan A, your priority? Or you don't give any priority on any team?
PG: I don't have a deadline. particularly, and I think the market at the moment is quite open and everybody is aware of what opportunities are out there. So, no, at the moment, I don't want to give too much details on that. I think everything is going well and are in discussions. And that's about it.
Q: (Joost Smedema – NOS.NL) A question to Checo. You said this track will, in many aspects, have some difficulties as the track in Monaco for the RB20. How do you think that will come out over the weekend? Are the kerbs as difficult for the RB20 as in Monaco, or how will it evolve, do you think?
SP: I don't think it's going to be as extreme as it was in Monaco, but obviously it's a track where you need to ride the kerbs. Riding is definitely one of the biggest talking points in this track, so I do expect to suffer a bit in that regard. But like I say, we've done some work, we've done some understanding as well, so I really hope we are able to make a good step forward in that direction.
Q: (Joost Smedema – NOS.NL) Checo, the track has been resurfaced since last year. What are your engineers saying about the smoothness of the asphalt?
SP: We always find out when we get on track. Sometimes they've done a lot of resurfacing and the track is pretty much the same. So we'll see if that has changed compared to last year.
Q: (Greg Lanctot – BPM Sports Radio) Lewis, given it's your last time in Montréal here, and you had your first win, a great amount of success on this track, given it's your last race with Mercedes in Montréal, does that add a little bit of emotion to this weekend for you?
LH: No. In general, I don't particularly feel emotional this weekend. But thinking about it, it would be amazing to finish off with a great result with Mercedes, where I had my first win with them here. Well, Mercedes-powered, obviously, back in 2007. And so many great years together here. But to be honest, like every race, we're trying to finish on a high. It hasn't been the case in the first quarter of the season, but I think you've seen, for example, with McLaren switching it around last year and anything's possible. So I do think we're moving in the right direction and I really am hopeful that we're going to be in the mix, particularly for the second half of the season.
Q: (Alexis Bélanger-Champagne – Canadian Press) Lewis, there was a question regarding the driver's market and knowing where you're going to be next year early. You definitely kick-started that this year. Just in a way, do you wish things were different? I understand historically it's always like that in F1, but what about to avoid this uncertainty, maybe like a transfer window or to wait till the end of the year? Is that something that the drivers would be interested or everyone is quite pleased with the way things work right now?
LH: A transfer window?
Q: (Alexis Bélanger-Champagne – Canadian Press) Like in football or something like in the US sports where teams cannot speak with another player's team until the end of the year?
LH: That's a new one. I haven't thought about it. I think it's really exciting in the other sports, like in the NFL, for example. But I think it's quite exciting now [in F1]. No one knows who's going where. Obviously, bit by bit, you see it through drips throughout the season. And I think when you do have drivers moving around, it does cause this bit of chaos. And I saw Formula 1 post the other day that there are still many seats that are not yet signed up. So like Nico said, it's quite an exciting time. For us, we're lucky and we feel very fortunate that we've got something locked in. And that really enables you to plan for your future and really channel your energy. But it's exciting for us to now see where everyone's moving.
Q: It's quite an interesting concept – a transfer window. You aren't locked in, Pierre. What do you think of a transfer window in Formula 1, like in football?
PG: I think it's pretty exciting times at the moment with how things are. And since the start of the year, I think you guys wrote a lot about it and kept everyone very busy. I think it's fun. We don't need to copy everything that others are doing. And it's always been the case in Formula 1. And I think it works well that way.
Q: (Luke Smith – The Athletic) Lewis, another question for you. A couple of mentions about your first win here. I know you say your memory's not the best, but that first victory here, is that something that lives a bit stronger in your memory? Do you have any specific things you remember from that weekend and that feeling of scoring your first F1 win?
LH: Oh, shoot. The only things that really stick out was just I think just basically from that whole first 12 races, but particularly coming here, first time to Montréal, and immediately like from the get-go., I loved the circuit and gelled well with it and that's always been the case when I've come here I think. But I think I was just really living my dream in those first six races, in kind of in disbelief that I'd actually made it and also having the success that we were having, podiums each weekend. And then I think really, ultimately just being on the podium seeing that big trophy that you've seen the greats in the past get to hoist up. And I think ultimately looking down and seeing my dad, just how happy he was. It was kind of a relief because of all the sleepless nights and all the energy and time that the family put into it, you know. We finally made it. And something that we continuously believed through our career together, that we had the ability to do something like that. And we finally realised it then. So it was a very, very special weekend. And yeah, it's one I will never forget.
Q: (Ben Hunt – Autosport) Two very different questions. First one: Lewis, you're obviously going to Ferrari, a bit of rejuvenation. We saw Marc Marquez do a similar move with Ducati. I wondered if you could comment on that, please, if you have any feelings? 
LH: That was awesome.
Q: (Ben Hunt – Autosport) But it seems like it's a very similar move as you, you know, re-motivated and everything else. So I just wondered if there was a comment you could give me about that? 
LH: I mean, he's incredible. I mean, I love MotoGP and I really am excited for the future of the sport as well. I think that they'll probably be learning a lot from what has happened with Liberty and Formula 1 over the past years and I think there's a lot of growth that will happen. But the racing is amazing. And then to see Marquez on the Ducati is going to be cool. I mean, the Ducati has always been such a cool bike. But I think from an athlete's perspective or a rider or driver's perspective, I think it's... Maybe similar for some of you, where you've been maybe in a job for a long, long time, it's great to have something new, a new environment, new desk, new people to work with and new challenges. And there's nerves, there are all these things that you are unsure of, in the sense of you don't know how you're going to blend in an environment, for example. But that's exciting. And it's great when you're welcomed into a new space. So, yeah, I think it's really cool. I can't wait to see him there on that bike.
Q: (Ben Hunt – Autosport) Thank you. I've got another question. Sorry, Lance, I just wanted to just pick something up with you. Your team always seem to start the season very well, but they don't seem to keep up at the same rate of progress. I just wondered if you were able to pinpoint what's going on there, if there's a failure somewhere within the organisation that's not able to maintain the same rate of progress as the start of the year? 
LS: I mean, it's definitely been the tendency… It was the tendency last year. We were always fighting top five, and then again this year, I think we were quick over one lap at the beginning of the year, suffered a little bit more with deg, but we were still kind of top five, top seven range. And now we're kind of scrapping for a point or two on a good weekend, which is not what we want as a team. I think we definitely do understand our issues. I think we understand some of the decisions, directions that we've chosen to follow through with. We know some of the mistakes that we've made. And now it's just a matter of sorting ourselves out and putting some new upgrades on the car going forward that address some of these issues that we know we have. But it's not an overnight fix. Realistic expectations, it's going to be over the course of, I hope, not too many races, but definitely a few races. And yeah, but there's still a lot of racing left. There's still, I don't know how, this is race 10 (sic), so there's still, I think, 13 or 14 races left, if I'm not mistaken. So long season, but we have some work to do.
Q: (Axelle Vallière – We are doing a topic on superstitions. Fernando Alonso said he avoided meeting certain people before races. Do you also have these kinds of superstitions?
OP: I don't have any. Sorry, that's a boring answer! I don't have any superstitions. I think probably all of us have like a certain routine before we get in the car. I like to jump in the car from the left, but purely because I find it more comfortable than jumping in from the right. So, um, if I have to jump in from the other side of the car, then I will.
PG: Not that many. I think just some routine you know. Like just routine stuff. Your warm-up and yeah if anything, I just pray before getting in the car and that's for me the most important one.
LS: Early days, yes. Back in my karting days, I'd religiously wash my underwear every night and make sure it went in the wash. And if I was really desperate, sometimes it didn't go in the wash! But no, after many years, those things kind of fade. And yeah, I guess it gets a bit dull. And the underwear got a bit small over the years, so I had to give it up!
LH: I think me neither now, but definitely until I was about 18, 19, I did. So I had a lucky conker. Somehow, I used to put it in my suit, like Sanka would put the lucky egg in Cool Runnings. And I don't know how, but it disappeared in a race. And then lucky underwear as well. My mum shrunk them. And then I think there's a sequence, if you look at tennis players, where they bounce the ball several times, or whether it's getting in the car from one side or putting your right sock on first. You know, like the sequence you would normally go through. And I missed one of the sequences, and I crashed. It was like a race in Germany when I was in Formula 3, and I was like, after that, no more superstitions.
SP: I don't have one, but I really like the one from Fernando to avoid certain people before you jump in the car!
LH: Depends on who he's avoiding.
SP: Some cameras, I would. But no, I just like to keep it simple. I think Formula 1 is already complicated enough to mess around, so just keep it simple.

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