No, I don't think he has set his expectations very high. He is in a good place in his head at the moment. He is relaxed and confident. He knows what he can do and he is looking to the future. He is also going to push the team hard to try and beat the likes of McLaren, Ferrari
and Red Bull
and I think he will win races and if he wins enough of them he can challenge for the championship. I don't see the team necessarily being strong enough this year though to win the championship. Lewis is an amazing talent, but there will be a few teething problems where miscommunication or not quite understanding each other costs them because it takes time for a team and a driver to learn how each other work. There might be a couple of missed opportunities, and ultimately that means he probably won't win the championship. But who knows.
Lotus and Williams
both won races last season. Will they win again?
I think they can and Lotus particularly, at the right circuits, and with the right situation with temperatures, and tyre wear, and I think they will be good on tyre wear, could get some wins. Kimi [Raikkonen] has no rust on him anymore. Romain [Grosjean] should be very strong this year too. It is make or break for him. My optimism says it is going to be make rather than break. I think he can address those issues on the opening laps and if he can, his qualifying in the early part of last year, and his race performances, show he is going to be very competitive. Lotus is then a team that can win races. I am not sure if they will be able to sustain it for the whole duration though. The budget of the top three teams is big and I don't think Lotus can quite compete with that in terms of the development required, especially as all the teams are going to be looking at 2014 and the new rules. I feel that Lotus might have to dive out of the development race a bit earlier than some and that is going to hurt them. But look for them in the early part of the year. Look for them getting in a few giant killing performances then.
Let's look at the other end of the grid. Are Marussia and Caterham delivering what they need to be?
No. For me, Caterham, in particular, are not delivering what they need to be delivering. Marussia are doing okay based on what they have in terms of technology and in terms of budget. But to be honest, neither is delivering what they should be. They need to be closer in the times. Okay they might still be at the back, but that time difference between them and say Toro Rosso
is still too great. There is a lot of work to be done. But what I do think is it could be quite exciting between those two teams at the back this year. Jules Bianchi
at Marussia is quite exciting. He is a talent. He will bring Max Chilton
along with him and Caterham might have a bit of a tough time sometimes coping with Marussia and on itself that should be quite interesting. But clearly both teams need to step up and that is not easy at the moment with the lack of funding at that end of the grid.
Final question, this will be your second year in the commentary booth with David Coulthard. Are you looking forward to working with him again and do you think you have gelled well now?
It is like anything, it is a relationship that grows the more you do it. I was so happy with the way it began, but it definitely got better and developed as we understood each other better. I really felt we had a good rapport going throughout the year and it sort of got stronger and stronger. So, yeah, I am relishing getting back in the 'box again and working with DC and everyone else in the team. It is a great team and I am really privileged to be part of this team. It is phenomenal. I play my part - but it is a team and I think it is a great team.