The day before
Prep for the race starts from the end of my qualifying when we do a couple of hours debrief. I’ll talk with my engineers and tweak any issues I had with the car, getting it ready for the race. At the same time, I’ll have to go do some hospitality and hosting with Renault’s guests.
After that we’ll be finishing up debriefing and planning for the next day. We’ll be making sure everything is set for Sunday before leaving the track.
We’ll get back to the hotel and go for an early dinner with friends and family. I have to watch my diet a lot so it’ll be something reasonably light, like a chicken salad.
I’ll watch some onboard videos that I’ve taken from the track. I’ll look at my own and then I’ll look at other drivers’ just to see if they are doing anything different which is always interesting to see.
If I’m not tired, I’ll put on a box set to watch. I’m a late arrival to Game Of Thrones so I’ve been getting through that a bit but usually I’ll try to get to bed really early.
On race day I’ll usually get up at 8am, freshen up and head straight to the track.
I’ll have breakfast at the track because we get hospitality there and there will be a strategy meeting first thing to outline what we are going to do: Plan A and Plan B depending on scenarios of the race.
I’ll go through the race with my engineers with some start videos from the previous years and I’ll have a look and see what to expect from the first corner, where to position myself and go through anything in terms of engine modes.
I’ll have my final race briefing where we go through the entire plan, strategy and the settings we’re going to start with.
We’ll have a driver’s parade and I’ll go down and have a chat with the other drivers and do the lap.
After the lap then it’s final prep. I’ll have a banana and be drinking a lot of fluids in the lead up to the race. I’ll get changed and do a few stretches to get my body ready.
I’ll get into the car and head to the grid, do a couple of laps, speak with my engineer, make sure the balance is good and then we go to the front for the national anthem. After that, I’ll quickly nip off to the toilet on the way back and get into the car.
We’ll do our formation lap to warm up the tyres and brakes. From the moment we go, it’s a nice time because it’s the first time we’re just on our own with no one speaking to us. So it’s just getting a feeling for the car, working the brakes and tyres as much as we can, collecting our thoughts.
I’ll look at the marks and make sure I stop on the right spot with the right distance. I’ll check that I’m in the right gear, all the right engine modes are selected and then look up to the lights and wait for them to come on.