In our column “Lotus Praga LMP2 Inside” we ask our race drivers about racing, race preparation, holidays and other personal subjects. Here are the answers of Christophe Bouchut.
How was the race at Le Mans for you?
Racing at Le Mans is very special and it is the biggest event on the calendar. Every time I go there I feel very privileged to be part of this spectacle. This year, it was my 20th race and it was a real honour to drive and celebrate my anniversary with a great name like Lotus.
What did you do after Le Mans? Did you go on holidays? If yes, where did you go?
I went on holidays in Lugano with my team mate Kevin Weeda and we did some water skiing on the lake with our families. I also spent some nice time at home and with good friends. We celebrated the 14th July, which is the French National Day, with big fireworks.
There will be 5 races on 3 different continents now. Do you have problems with the travelling and jet lag? What do you do to avoid jet lag?
The last 5 years of my life I travelled a lot from France to the USA and I gained some experience about jet lag. It is not very easy but you can try to do some sport the day after a long travel. It helps to acclimate quickly to the country. If I can’t sleep, especially when I come back home, I take some Melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm of the human body.
Which of the remaining races are you looking forward to the most?
The FIA WEC is an incredible experience with so many great race tracks so that it is impossible for me to say I prefer this one or this one. The next race in Interlagos will be great because I love this place and I won in 2006 the Mil Milhas Brasil, one of the biggest races in Brazil. The USA is kind of my second home and I know a lot of people there, so it will be nice to meet them hopefully at Austin. A long time ago, I raced at Fuji in Formula 3 and this part of the Japan is just beautiful. Shanghai is an incredible city and track. In 2005, I won the first ever race in the young history of the Bahrain International Circuit and I love this track.
What is special about driving anti-clockwise like in Interlagos? Is it more difficult or do you prepare for it in a different way?
To be honest I do not really pay attention to this detail. Interlagos is a challenging circuit and there is no big breaking zone. You always must keep a good speed everywhere and there are a lot of possibilities to overtake. But I do not really prepare myself in a different way because of the track running anti-clockwise.
How do you keep fit for the races? Which sports do you do and do you like?
I am doing sport in my fitness room at home two times per week plus a lot of other activities and maintaining a three hectare park all year. Apart from racing, I do long distance shooting for a long time. This sport requires a lot of similar qualities which are also important in racing.
What is your favourite music? Which music do you listen to before a race?
I love music and I love many different styles of music. It depends on my mood but at home I prefer classic music. But before a race I listen to Foo Fighters or Linkin Park, so the opposite of what I listen to at home.
Do you have any superstitions before a race?
Not really a superstition but I always have a special medal from my family with me.
Is your wife coming to all the races?
My wife comes to Le Mans every year. But that is the only race. I don’t want her to come to other races because I have to work and don’t have a lot of time for her on a race weekend. It is my profession and it is also dangerous.
What is your favourite food?
I have Italian roots, so I love Italian food, especially Pasta Bolognese.
If you wouldn’t be a race driver, which job would you have instead?
When I was young I really had a passion for classic music. My wish was to become a conductor but for some reason I chose to become racing driver.
Which headline would you like to read about you and Lotus Praga LMP2?
A great association with a great success.
What are your goals or wishes for the next races?
To finish the races and to achieve the best result of the season.