Many people have been very influential in both my career and private life, which are both hopelessly intertwined, and first and foremost are my parents. They have always been wonderfully supportive of me without pressuring or pushing me. They helped me to find a certain balance and to succeed in my profession as a driver. It’s very important, even vital, to be able to get to the top in the best mental condition possible.
I have met many people throughout my career, and some have had a major impact on my professional life. You have to surround yourself with good people in order to avoid the traps a young driver isn’t prepared for. That’s how I was able to concentrate on my profession and to get past all the stops thanks to Gilles Bellec, my manager of more than ten years, who was always able to look out for my interests and help me to get the best weapons to help me climb the ladder.
My career might have been cut short were it not for the nimble fingers of Professor Gérard Saillant, who gave me back the use of my legs following my accident in the Formula Renault. A driver is helpless against a physical trauma, and he gives himself over to the doctors in charge of getting him back on his feet again. The psychological support and the work of Professor Saillant and his team helped get me back in the saddle quickly and to carry on my career as a driver after just a short absence.
Many partners believed in me in the good times and the not so good times as well. They stayed with me come hell or high water. It’s crucial support for a driver.
Joining Michel Lecomte and his team was a turning point in my career. I owe them so much; because it was with them that I won my first international title in a Formula Nissan.
Renault gave me the chance to show what I could do behind the wheel of an F1 and had confidence in me after a very rigorous selection. Today I am a member of the Renault F1 team, and I have not stopped improving since I have joined the team. I owe Renault a lot, and I will do everything I can to give them a return on their investment. The professionalism and friendly atmosphere of the Renault F1 team are invaluable assets to have in order to succeed in Formula 1.
I make a point of thanking the team Super Aguri F1 and its owner, Aguri Suzuki and his team manager Daniele Audetto, to have allowed me to reach my dream this year: to make my Formula One debut!
Lastly, a big thanks to all my friends, you know who you are.