Nicolas, son of four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain, contested the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship for Rebellion Racing whilst also featuring for Lotus F1 Team at last year’s Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test.
He has also competed in the A1 Grand Prix Championship for Team France, entered the Le Mans 24 Hours five times and enjoyed considerable success in a variety of European single-seater categories.
2012: FIA World Endurance Championship, P1 [Team], Petit Le Mans, P1
2011: Andros Trophy, P1 / Le Mans Series, P3 / Le Mans 24 Hours, P6
2010: Andros Trophy, P1 / Le Mans Series, P5 / FIA GT1 World Championship, P49
2009: A1 Grand Prix, P5 [Team] / Le Mans Series, P5 / Le Mans 24 Hours, P12
2008: Euroseries 3000, P1
2007: Spanish Formula Three, P3 / Le Mans 24 Hours, P5
2006: Spanish Formula Three, P4
2005: Championnat de France Formula Renault 2.0, P10
How good is it to be continuing to work with Lotus F1 Team?
It’s really an honour to continue working with the team as it means that I’ve done a good job; last year in particular. 2012 was interesting as I started doing some proper testing with the R30, on demo tyres. Since then, I’ve been working with the team on the simulator and technical programmes plus I completed the Abu Dhabi test in 2012, which was great.
You did do a good job on the first day of the Young Driver Test last year; looking back now, how significant and important was that test?
The test was very important; obviously when people put trust in you and give you that opportunity you want to deliver and we had a very challenging programme. It was also my first time in Abu Dhabi and at the Yas Marina Circuit so I had a lot to pick up quite quickly! At a test like this, no-one except the team can understand how well you perform. None of the different teams run the same tyres, no one runs the same fuel and you don’t know what types of test each team are running in the car. So if Lotus F1 Team was happy with my performance then that’s the most important thing to me and so to earn my current position shows the significance of that test.
What’s your perception of the team? How have you seen the team grow and what is the feeling that you get from Enstone?
I would describe Enstone as being a big family; when people talk about F1 it’s always that it is full of sharks, but in this team everyone I meet is so nice. The people are friendly – they want to win, they want to work and there is a very good atmosphere here. Every time I come here, should it be for a seat fit, or to come to train at the sport centre it’s always a pleasure and I think that’s one of the biggest strengths of the team. For me, just to be in Formula 1 is already quite an achievement, but it is fantastic to be involved with one of the best teams – and I think Lotus F1 Team is really one of the best, and the underdog who is scaring everyone!