While his team-mate was required in the simulator after Melbourne, Jean-Eric Vergne had no official duties and made the most of it to concentrate on his fitness. “I got here Tuesday night and I was doing sports training all week before that too,” he told the media at this afternoon’s press meeting in the Sepang paddock.
Clearly the endorphins from all that sport have put the Frenchman in an optimistic frame of mind regarding Round 2 of the World Championship. “I think we can do even better this weekend, if you consider that Melbourne was the first time we did a real race simulation, so there are plenty of little things we have now learned we can do better,” said Jev. “I regard the Australian result as promising and believe it suggests we can do better. However, I think we can expect to see a similar hierarchy that we saw in Melbourne, which actually means it will be very hard for us to get into the points, if reliability improves across the board. Because in Melbourne, we have to remember that drivers such as Vettel, Hamilton were out with problems. But we will still fight hard here.”
With all the talk of the new Formula 1, Jev reminded his audience that, fundamentally, the new cars still need driving the same old way as before. “I think everyone will get used to these new cars quite quickly,” he reckoned. “They might be a little bit more complicated to drive with so many parameters to control, but in pure driving terms there’s not much difference.” And what about the topic du jour, the fuel management controls. “As a driver, you are not so involved in this,” he continued. “It is mainly down to the engineers, but here at this Sepang track, fuel management will be much easier than at Albert Park, which is much harder on fuel use.”