08.12.22 NL Blog
Abu Dhabi GP: The story behind my weekend
It’s onto an F1 triple header in Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Qatar next after a memorable Grand Prix in the US.
Among the spectators in Austin were a number of NBA players, and as a massive basketball fan that was a treat.
During the pre-race build-up there was a Free Throw competition and I got some advice from NBA defensive legend Dikembe Mutombo. It was pretty cool to meet him and have a few goes at trying to get a shot past. He’s 7ft 2in, so that wasn’t easy!
On Saturday Chris Bosh was a guest of Williams. Chris used to play for the Toronto Raptors and was our star player for many years. As a kid I watched him in many games both in person and on TV, so to meet him was very cool. After the race on Sunday I was sat with him, his wife and my girlfriend and we chatted for about an hour. He’s a really friendly guy and a big fan of F1 so we had lots to talk about.
Up next then it’s Mexico, and not a straightforward event because of the big challenge we face with the altitude. The circuit is more than 2,200 metres above sea level, by far the highest of the season, and that means thinner air. That affects us physically, so we take time to adapt to the altitude, and it also has an influence on the car’s performance. There’s less air for the wings to grab onto, so to speak, and that impacts how the car behaves. We have the least amount of aero load all season – and that means more sliding.
Off-track Mexico is a very cool event. We know how much passion there is among Mexican F1 fans, particularly returning after 2020’s absence, and it’s one of those races – like Montreal, Silverstone and Austin – where you know there’ll be a great atmosphere.
That provides a lot of energy during a busy time of the year. Mexico is the first grand prix of the last triple header of 2021, so we’re into the flyaways, where there’s a lot of travel and time spent in hotels. Managing energy across the triple header is important so hopefully I can start off on a strong footing this weekend.
All the best, and don’t forget to keep an eye on my social channels for updates during the weekend.
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