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GP Week : Issue 85
been paying much attention to it. He hasn't bought any cars. I think he's still in negotiations with teams, but I think McLaren's providing some cars. There are a lot of people who don't get the chance to drive Formula One cars, so it's aimed at GP2 and F3 drivers. They pay a certain amount per test day. But it's for pros, not corporates? Yes, it's for people who want it to go somewhere. Are you impressed how quickly Jenson has adapted to the team? Yep, but we didn't make it difficult for him. We did everything we could to make him feel welcome in the team and get him up to speed as quickly as possible. They did the same when I joined the team. They gave me the best tools and resources to prepare me for the first grand prix, and the same thing happened to him. I think it's a reflection of the hard work of the guys, and the opportunity they've given him. Do you think you'll stay at McLaren for the rest of your career or would you like to find another challenge with another team? I think it's too early to say, all I know is I'm happy here. I've been with this team for a long time and I don't see myself anywhere else. This is where I want to be, as long as they want to keep me. I'm sure everyone has changes in their lives at some stage and I don't know when that will be. Every year is a new challenge anyway -- when you're developing a new car, new engineers, new rules and regulations. The team provides a great base. It's cool when you go to work and you love it. It's the best job. Did the challenges of last year -- starting with an uncompetitive car and being unable to defend your title -- make you a stronger driver, and make this year easier? It's very tough for everyone [going from a competitive car to an uncompetitive car]. Heikki [Kovalainen] is in the same situation at Lotus, having to work with a team to lift them up and give them inspiration. I think it shows your inner strength. You have to keep working and believe at some stage it will come good. I kept believing [last year] and we got to Hungary and finally we had this chance. It was more than worth all those bad races to get to that win. People say to me now 'you haven't won for 10 races' or whatever, but when we do get that win it will be worth all those misses. So long as we don't get to 100 [laughs]. He didn't have to wait very long at all... f1 Feature >> 29