Over the past few weeks a lot has been happening. I've had a number of really productive sessions with Dallara and Formula Medicine in Italy, and I've been doing heaps with the team to get prepped for the first events.
The sessions with Dallara on their incredible simulator with full motion have been really productive. I spent time working on my driving and qualifying technique and I even managed to beat their lap record at Barcelona! I learned a lot from the 700km worth of driving, and we've gained some new, and invaluable information to perform even stronger out on track.
My recent three days at Formula Medicine were also really pleasing. They were very happy with my progress over the last three weeks, especially on the mental side. With promising improvements in all areas, I'm really looking forward to seeing how much of a difference it makes out on track! I've received a new, and more intense fitness program from them to ensure that I am constantly pushing my limits and improving.
Throughout the visit, I was taken through my new program with the trainers, and I can tell it's going to really push me. My interval runs are now even harder, with less recovery time and a faster pace between sprints. The strength workouts are now with greater weights, and the core workout is a lot more intense. As tough as it is, I'm feeling even fitter and seeing the improvements is a huge motivating factor to continue going even harder!
The mental training while I was there was also more tough, but incredibly productive. I was put in situations to simulate competition and pressure, and also had my heart rate and brain activity monitored while in a stressful environment in the simulator (Indycar on a street circuit). I used these results to do some self-analysis and improve my self-awareness, and then cross checked my findings with the team at Formula Medicine which really developed my understanding of myself and will allow me to work on new techniques to make me as mentally strong as possible.
The Jenzer Motorsport car livery is also looking great, I'm sure it'll look absolutely stunning out on track when we have our first test in Austria at the incredibly scenic Red Bull Ring - one of my favourite circuits, and we may even be able to give everyone a look soon. We shall see!
There's so much to look forward to this year, we have a great calendar and will be accompanying Formula 1 at all of our events. With two new circuits for rounds six and seven, it'll certainly be an exciting way to end the season. Zandvoort will host its first F1 event since its renovations to introduce new banking to three of its corners, which is up to twice as steep as Indianapolis! Circuit of the Americas, hosting the final round for F3, is also an exciting addition to our schedule, a relatively new circuit whose design is based on some of the most challenging corners from around the world, most notably, the esses of Silverstone and Turn 8 of Istanbul. Added to this we have some of the classic circuits of Formula 1, Barcelona, Hungary and Spa, all of which are rich with motor-racing history and are always unbelievable to race at.
With the team, I've been doing plenty of work on their simulator also, particularly working on perfecting the single-lap push for qualifying. With ultra-high degradation tyres, a massive field of 30 cars, and relatively short sessions, this is absolutely crucial as it can make the difference between pole position and starting 20th.
Away from racing, I've joined a golf club here in Switzerland and while the weather isn't great at the moment, I've still been enjoying the time it gives me to switch-off and take in the stunning Swiss scenery.
I've also been working through my Computer Science Bachelor's degree with ECU online. The content of the units is really in-depth and I'm finding it fascinating so far, I know there's a lot to learn, but I'm really looking forward to it.
The other great news is that my Manager and long-time Mentor Mick Kouros is now with me full-time in Switzerland. It is amazing having his support and guidance and I am incredibly fortunate to have so much experience and expertise to draw from him as of course always having the strength having someone with 100% belief in you around all of the time.
Unfortunately, with the first two tests postponed due to Covid-related travel restrictions, it's been a long time since I was behind the wheel of the amazing FIA Formula 3 car, and I'm hungry to experience the thrill it brings. Until then, I'm going to keep working hard and make the most of this incredible opportunity that I have.
Thanks for the incredible support everyone!