With F1, it’s really a combination of many things. You have to have good endurance, good strength in certain muscles, you need to be fast, have good reactions and good decisions. It’s not as simple as one thing. You need to be a complete athlete.
Normally with any of the races, we go a bit early to get used to the time zone and acclimatize. We’ll have a couple of days to see the places. My favorites so far are Montreal and Abu Dhabi. With Abu Dhabi, the facilities are excellent and the weather is always good.
In Formula 1, the neck is really important. There’s a lot of force that’s going to your head. We also have a helmet and it’s not that light. When it’s all about g-force, all of that extra weight in the helmet compounds and puts more and more pressure. To be able to maintain your head in a straight position – especially around the corners and while braking – you need to have strong neck. To train that, it’s difficult.
I am pleased with the race and happy with fourth position. It was a real shame for the team that Felipe had an issue at the start. It was a lonely race but the final 20 laps were very tough. Sebastian was quicker than me, and closed up behind very fast, but the fight was really good fun. I know a few tricks that can really help to defend and they all worked today, and I am delighted to come out on top today.
When we’re coming up to the race, the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I always have the same lunch. So that’s before the second practice, before qualifying and before the race, I always have a tuna vegetable risotto. The chef makes it slightly spicy, so there’s a bit of a kick.
During the season, it’s a lot of maintaining your fitness, so in the winter time is when the main work is done. During the season, I just try to maintain my speed with different types of drills with my trainer. I also work on some muscles. If there’s ever any injuries during races, then I’ll focus a lot of my time on the muscle recovery.
We use a neck training machine where you can strengthen the muscles, going front to back, side to side. You can also connect a big resistance band to a wall or something and do the exercise like that.