Patrick Sabatier: First of all, welcome to FV a la une, Thanks for coming on.
Adrien Simon: My pleasure, it’s great to be here
PS: I’d like to start by talking about your hopes for 2018 - what are your expectations?
AS: I’m looking forward to this year with renewed vigour and excitement. 2016 was of course my finest season to date, while the 2017 year was another year of learning which allowed me to focus, so 2018 is a year I’m relishing the challenge.
PS: Do you think you’re going to have the car to win the championship?
AS: If anyone can give it to me, it’s Arthur and Robert. The new regulations suit us, and development has been strong. The powertrain DS Automobiles and Downton have developed is incredible - we tested it in the 2016 chassis a couple of months ago and it is insane - while the chassis is unlike anything seen before in FV. I have of course been right in the middle of development, and I hope I’ve been able to give the team added direction so we have a fast car.
PS: You mention your heavy involvement in the development of the RJM006 - you’re unlike anyone else in this field, you have competed in every season of FV with a single team, so you and the team clearly get on well. What are your long term plans?
AS: As always, I will take the championship season by season. I love the team and everyone within it, I’m truly one of les gars, and that helps me so much when we are looking at the future direction of my career. I would like to finish my career in FV with DS, but at the same time I respect the team, Arthur and Robert enough to know when to leave, and I know they respect me enough to include me in their discussions about my future. I will never rule out moving to another team, because that kind of talk makes people look silly in the future, but I will definitely say my first choice for a drive in FV is DS Mathershaw.
PS: At the age of 32, would you consider a drive outside of FV - particularly after entering the IndyVirtual triple crown last season?
AS: It would be difficult to say until I knew the nature of the deal. I’m a racing driver, so I always want to race, but it would have to be the right team. My races in IndyVirtual with Signature were brilliant - Sylvain Tremblay is an excellent man, and I can see why him and Arthur have worked together so often in the past. Additionally, I would enjoy a role in FV after I stopped driving, either in a technical role or in team management.
PS: Your brother Jules is making his FV debut this season with Meteor after what can only be described as fast tracked through the junior series. What are your thoughts on this?
AS: Honestly, I think he’s making a mistake. As an ambassador for the FFVSA (France’s Virtual motorsport governing body), I’ve worked closely with both Jules and Sébastien (Vocquelin, Jules’s teammate for 2018) so I know both of their talents. However, I think this is far too soon for both of them - I can’t speak for either, but I’m obviously close to my brother, and I’ve told him how I feel. I think he will do an excellent job under the circumstances, but I don’t think now is the right time for him to enter FV, nor is Meteor the right team - particularly with another rookie alongside him. I’m very worried for both drivers, as they have a lot of talent, but unless they can adapt exceptionally quickly, and unless Meteor can give them an incredible car, I think this could end their careers before they have properly started, and that is a huge shame, both personally and for French Virtual motorsport. Having said that, I hope I am very wrong. I will support them as I always have, both in my role with the FFVSA and in Jules’s case, as his brother.
PS: A very interesting viewpoint, one I’m not sure many will have expected you to publicly voice. Moving on, who do you see as your biggest rivals this season, both in terms of teams and personally?
AS: Regarding teams, it’s the usual suspects - Downton as defending champions are a huge threat, while Franklin are the ever present front runners of FV. Alongside them, any number of teams look like making significant progress in 2018, and we will certainly have to be at our best to succeed. Personally, my biggest rival on track is Enrique Ruiz. He’s one of the best in the world at what he does, and to race against him is simply incredible. I have a lot of time for him off track too, and you know any battle you have with him is going to be hard fought but extremely fair. Also, I’m sure Allar will challenge me as he did in the end of last season, so my first task is the same as always, to be the best within the team.
PS: Ok Adrien, that’s all we have time for, thank you very much and bonne chance for 2018!
AS: No problem at all, it was great to see you