QUICK CHAT: Gary Paffett
Gary, that was an absolutely epic race last Sunday. Have you had time to process all the overtaking incidents?
Gary Paffett: Every time I think about it, I wonder what I could or should have done better. But then I always come to the conclusion that it was just a great race that will be remembered for a long time. When you are in that sort of race, you don’t think about it – you just concentrate on trying to win. But afterwards, you realise that you were part of something special, and I’m very proud of that. The race has shown the mutual respect between the drivers, because otherwise we would not have been able to drive like that and all come away from it with a good result.
Were you surprised that Mercedes were so strong at Hockenheim, and do you believe that we saw the real balance of power in the field there?
Gary Paffett: I think I would be insulting my engineers if I said I was surprised that we were so good. But obviously we didn’t know what to expect. It was a nice surprise that we definitely were the quickest and most consistent team on both days. On Saturday we made the best of it as a team, though probably not on Sunday, which was a shame and a missed opportunity with some of the cars. The biggest surprise actually was the lack of pace of the Audi. Mercedes and BMW were both pretty close, and Audi seemed to have found some speed on Sunday. But it was definitely pleasing to see that we started the season in such a strong way. I think it is a just reward for all the hard work we put in over the winter.
The next race will take place at the Lausitzring, where Mercedes and you personally have been very strong in the past. What are your expectations this time?
Gary Paffett: If you look at it just based on Hockenheim, then you have to say that Mercedes are looking very strong. I think if you also look at last year, Lucas had a great weekend at the Lausitzring, and he will probably be very strong there. But of course, after my first race weekend, I feel very confident that we can go and can do something similar again. I’ve won at the Lausitzring in the past, and I think we need to look forward to it in a very positive manner. With the new regulations, however, every weekend is also a bit of an experiment. But I certainly don’t expect the performance of the cars and the drivers to change that much from Hockenheim. Hopefully we can have another weekend up at the front.