You drove at Portimao earlier this year in a GT car. How was it?
Max Verstappen: It's a great track! I was there for a couple of days and it was raining for most of it but it was still fun to drive, especially in the wet.
Can you tell us about the characteristics of the track?
MV: It's full of elevation changes and the track layout is just very cool. It's a bit technical but overall it's a fast circuit so I'm looking forward to driving a Formula One car there now. I enjoy going to new tracks, it's something different for everyone and it can mix things up which makes it interesting.
You split the Mercedes again in Germany. What are you hoping for in Portugal?
MV: We had a good weekend at the Nurburgring and I think we took a step forward with the car. We seemed to be closer to Mercedes which is very positive and with another new track coming up I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do.
F1 heads to yet another new track in Portimao! Have you been there before?
Alex Albon: Yes I have good memories from Portimao with pole position and a podium there in Formula 3. It's a really cool track with a lot of character and a good flow to it. The first thing that hits you when you arrive are the mega impressive elevation changes throughout the circuit. It's going to be physical with the heat and it's quite a bumpy track with some blind corners on entry which just adds to the fun.
Which parts of the track are you looking forward to most?
AA: At one section of track you go up a hill almost blind where you feel like the car is going to take off and then it suddenly drops down a hill before rising again into a completely blind corner. You brake, turn in, and you don't know where you're going and then the corner just appears on your right, before dropping down massively again. It's really impressive and it'll be good because I think, as we saw in Mugello, new tracks are fun and make it interesting. They throw the dice a bit in terms of how teams are able to adapt to the circuit.
Do you think new tracks are good for F1?
AA: I think new tracks give opportunities to the inexperienced drivers because we're used to going to new tracks all the time in junior categories. In F1, the experienced guys have done the same circuits day in day out so it puts the ball a bit more into our court and makes it more fun, it evens the playing field going into FP1.