YOU ASK THE QUES­TIONS

F1 Racing (UK) - - PRO -

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

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