YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS
Would you like a go in the new WRC cars? Nigel Williams, UK
Well, if I say no I will be lying! F1R: Any opportunities there? RK: Actually, last year I was pretty close to doing a few events. There was a possibility but there was no car, and then honestly I wanted to focus on coming back to [single-seater] racing. I didn’t want to create a situation where I would try the car, and I would like it and it would put me again with some doubts about what I want to do.
How different is this hybrid power unit car compared with the cars equipped with the previous generation of engines? Maurizio Bollini, Italy
The power unit is one of the big differences between current Formula 1 and the generation of cars when I drove before, but it’s not the biggest one. It’s complicated for the mechanics and the engineers and designers, but for the drivers it’s not. When we had the early years with KERS it was much more complicated. Now everything is optimised. Everybody knows the system, there’s so much simulation going on.
How did you feel when, for the first time after a long break, you got back into an F1 car? Paulina Nikodemska, Poland
It was one of my best days, not only because I got back into an F1 car but because I realised how big is the potential of our brain. It was at Valencia, six-and-a-half years after my accident, and after a couple of laps I realised that it felt like two months. The feeling was like being back at home – one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life.
F1R: Have you got any interest in being on the other side – running a team, that sort of thing?
RK: First of all, I have big respect for those people and I have no experience of doing what they do. Second of all, as I say, I’m still thinking and I have the attitude of being a racing driver. I think by having those people who run the team and by having a driver who is honest and straightforward it helps to translate, and to make people understand how the driver is feeling. Formula 1 is all about performance, numbers, analysis, simulation, and many people focus a lot on the pure numbers because it’s such a tough business and performance is everything. But in the end racing cars are being driven by humans and the performance comes also from me, the driver, otherwise there would be no top teams paying huge amounts to get the top drivers. And those human beings sometimes in all this complicated and complex data are left too much apart.
“IN F1 MANY PEOPLE FOCUS ON THE PURE NUMBERS. BUT IN THE END RACING CARS ARE DRIVEN BY HUMANS AND THE PERFORMANCE COMES ALSO FROM ME
Hybrid-engine cars are “not so complicated” for drivers