Kevin Joerg is one of these young drivers who are expected to guide DAMS to the big successes in their very first season in GP3 series. Over the last few year he has been racing in Formula Renault 2.0, where he managed to taste some champagne several times at the podium and that is why he decided to make another step forward. After successful post-season test in GP3, when he managed to set the second lap time on the last day, he is really self-esteemed entering this year’s championship and he doesn’t hide the fact that he is going to fight for the victory, because it is huge Renault company, what stands behind him.
Wojtek Paprota: Kevin, how excited you are before your first season in GP3 series?
Kevin Joerg: I am really looking forward for it. It will be a great challenge!
Wojtek: Is it the best series you can choose for yourself this season?
Kevin: I had to choose between GP3 and Formula 3.5 V8. Of course the Formula 3.5 V8 was really tempting, the car just made so much fun to drive, but the prospects in GP3 look much better. The level of the drivers is much higher, and this is important for my future.
Wojtek: The only experience with GP3 car you have are 3 test days in Abu Dhabi, what you have taken by the end of last year. Do you think that you are already more-or-less familiar with the car?
Kevin: I felt quickly comfortable in the GP3 car, and the last day I finished both sessions on P2.
Wojtek: For the last couple of seasons you have been racing in Formula Renault 2.0 – also a single sitter category, but with much slower cars. Did you have to change anything in terms of driving style before you got the pace in Abu Dhabi?
Kevin: With the GP3 there is a lot more power, so you need to be really gentile with the throttle application. You are then much faster on the straights and need to break a little bit earlier.
Wojtek: Is driving GP3 car more physically demanding than driving Formula Renault 2.0 car? Is it a significant difference that really affects your training program?
Kevin: Yes, there is more downforce, and that makes the steering wheel more heavy to turn. I had a good physical fitness before, but I had to build up some additional muscles to stay fit during a whole race weekend.
Wojtek: The car what you have been driving in Abu Dhabi is actually from the old generation. For the pre-season tests all the teams will be given GP3/16 cars what are a bit different than the old ones. What do you expect from that car? Are you afraid that something may be completely new and difficult to get used to?
Kevin: As far as I heard it will be quiet similar than the old one. Maybe a little bit quicker. But it won’t change a lot driving wise. And otherwise I just learn and adapt.
Wojtek: Stepping up to GP3 series is quite a big change as GP3 is a Formula 1 supportive series with much bigger audience around. How important is mental training at this chapter of your career when the pressure seems to be much bigger than in lower categories?
Kevin: I never had problems to concentrate and to focus, and also at the World Series by Renault weekends there were a lot of spectators. Some driver have I mental trainer, I don’t. But it’s really important to be strong “in the head”, and this is my strength.
Wojtek: Your team, DAMS is also joining GP3 series this year. However, their huge advantage is that they have a race and championship winning-experience from the other series, including GP2. Do you think that the lack of experience in GP3 will somehow affect your pace this season?
Kevin: DAMS is the most successful team in GP2 over the last five years. Maybe there will be a little disadvantage in the beginning, but there will be 7 test days and they will learn quickly.
Wojtek: One of your team mates, Jake Hughes, is your ex-rival from Formula Renault 2.0 – how it is to race with against him and how your cooperation will look like in 2016?
Kevin: On the last day at the winter testing in Abu Dhabi we were already driving in the same team. We worked well together and both were quick.
Wojtek: This year you also became Renault Sport Academy member. How does Renault help you and how can you benefit from it in GP3 series?
Kevin: I get some support from Renault during my GP3 season, like fitness and media training. The great thing is the possibility to have a chance to get to Formula 1 through good sportive results.
Wojtek: What is your target for this season?
Kevin: Of course I want to win, but the target is minimum top 5.
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