Now in your second season with KV do you have opportunities to learn by sharing information, technical feedback or experiences with teammates and their engineers?
Yes, it’s always good being part of a team. A lot of what we’re doing now is a continuation of work we started last year with Takuma and the guys, and Tony brings new information. We really don’t change very much, its more like evolving the program and it just keeps growing.
You had some tough luck in Toronto but still finished pretty well. Is that kind of representative of your year so far?
Well, I did have some bad luck with punctures in Toronto. I think really every race this year except maybe Iowa, where we had a major problem with the car, we’ve always been very competitive, running a lot in 5th or 6th, but unfortunately we haven’t finished as many races as we’d like. Sometimes my fault, sometimes the team’s and sometimes other circumstances, but we know we’re good, we know we have the speed , we’re getting better all the time and just need to stay strong and do it.
Nobody is familiar with this new Edmonton track, but with the long straightaways and hairpins many drivers say there are passing opportunities but it could be a demolition derby. What are your thoughts?
That’s probably true. The first corner is way slower than it looks and is very tight in the exit. It’s almost like a dragster, you’ve got to stop and go, so car setup is very important and you need good braking and good traction. I’m sure a lot of people are going to be driving very soft cars to try to accommodate the needs of the track. With 3 very slow corners you’ll need to get power early.
This race, I think, is going to be similar to Toronto. It’s funny, because my mentality there was only to finish. I never, ever, took any kind of risk during the race and kind of let the race come to me and that’s the same mentality to bring to this place. It will be a very physically demanding race here, it’s easy to make mistakes and there are going to be some accidents. Just by keeping calm, having good pit stops and trying to save a little fuel so the last stop is as fast as possible is important.
On the business side of things how has the relationship with a name like Lotus affected your ability to expand your personal brand or create marketing opportunities?
The program we put together, that is, Lotus and KV, is very important. At the end of the day KV is a team, but Lotus is a car company, is bigger and very appealing to sponsors and the media. It’s positive for me, the team, for everybody and I hope it’s the first of many years.