The thing I’m most excited about is working with everyone in the team, whether that’s at the track, the McLaren Technology Centre or remotely. From stripping down the car at race weekends to putting in the miles in the simulator, I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and helping the team wherever I can.
2. Getting to drive an F1 car
Unsurprisingly, I’m very eager to get back behind the wheel of an F1 car. I’ve driven the MCL35M in the simulator, but I can’t give you any clues about what it’s like to drive. It feels like ages since the last race in Abu Dhabi; I can’t wait to go racing again and push one of the fastest cars on the planet to the limit.
3. Joining forces with Daniel Ricciardo
Next up, I’d say teaming up with Daniel. Not because he’s good fun to be around, but because I like to work out the approach of my team-mates. Daniel has a lot of experience: he’s raced with big teams, scored plenty of podiums and knows how to win grands prix. I’m curious to see how he drives a car and what his approach is.
4. The unknown
In general, I’m excited by the new challenges that come with each season – no two seasons are the same. I love the feeling of going into the unknown. That’s part of what makes F1 so special. You don’t know what’s going to happen in each race. Anything is possible and it’s all about embracing what the season brings: new people, new relationships, new drivers to compete against, new cars and…
5. ‘New’ circuits
There are some new additions to the F1 calendar this season, but I’m also looking forward to hopefully going back to some of the countries we couldn’t race at last year – places like the US, Japan and Singapore. They’re some of my favourite places to go, not just because of the circuits we race at in those countries, but because of the great cultures we get to experience and, of course, the fans. I really hope we get to see more fans at the track this season, we’ve really missed them.
6. Lighting up the grid with lids
I love the creative side of what I do: designing new helmets and working with different designers. While I’m not going to be doing quite as much this year, there’s a plan in place to do a handful of special, one-off helmet designs. We’re working on them at the moment, so watch this space.