Signing the world champion indicates expectations – on both sides. You have worked with and grew into the team over the winter: will it be a season that delivers- for both sides?
"It has been a really motivating this winter for me. I felt a little nervous at first, but that is just human nature, I didn’t know the car, I didn’t know the team. Now I am very comfortable with the MP4-22 and over the winter I have made it my business to get to know every single member of the team. You never know what might happen in Formula 1, there are new rules, new cars, new tires this year with the Bridgestone Potenzas. Until we start racing, who can tell."
Casually you said that the 3rd title is on your agenda. Already in 07?
"I do want to win more world titles, this is my aim during my career. To win one may have meant you had the best car that year, to win two I feel is a great achievement. But to win another, all the big names in the sport and the drivers we remember, won three or more world titles. If you ask me which is more important: winning three titles with one team or with two different teams, then the answer is easy. Will I win the Drivers’ Championship this year, who can say at this moment. I will fight hard with the team to try, but we will have to wait and see."
At the beginning of February you expressed that the car is not even close to ready for the Melbourne grid. But seeing the results from the Bahrain tests – having in mind that the first 3 races will be “hot" races – there must have been a surge over the last weeks. Is the MP4-22 ready now?
"Formula 1 cars are constantly evolving during the pre-season and the eight months of racing. You wouldn’t expect the car to be ready for Melbourne in February, as there are weeks of development available to us. We have been pushing hard on the test track and at the McLaren Technology Centre, the car has continued to develop and we are now looking forward to getting it on track in a competitive race, only then can I answer your question!"
Letting the winter tests flash by: who would you imagine to be your strongest competitor?
"There are a number of teams who have been really strong at the tests, including Ferrari, Renault, BMW, it is going to be a really competitive year."
What's in your garage at home?
"My Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition, it is the most beautiful road car I have even seen."
Tell us something we don't know about you?
"That I am claustrophobic. Being in a cockpit that is made to fit around me isn’t a problem, but I can’t even think about being stuck in a lift."
Your favorite song for karaoke?
"We are the Champions!"
Funniest thing you've read about yourself in the press?
"That I was two years younger than I am."
Your most embarrassing moment?
"My most frustrating moment was a kart race in 1995 when my throttle broke suddenly when I was leading."
When you're at home, what do you listen to when driving?
"Red Hot Chilli Peppers or some Spanish pop music."
Best part of being a Formula One driver – apart from the driving?
"Getting to explore the world."
Your most prized possession?
"My collection of small model cars."
What would you be if you weren’t a racing driver?
"For sure a cyclist or a football player."
Person you most admire?
Do you have any bad habits?
"To be too sincere."
Last good deed you did?
"I don’t think it good to be conceited about good deeds."
Who would you want to play you in a movie?
"Alberto San Juan" Source McLaren