I'm ready. I'd say that if there's a race where you are always ready, that's Australia, because you've been thinking and preparing for it for months! So it's definitely a race where I feel as ready as ever!
I've finished ninth both times I've ever raced in Australia, but I want more than that and I think it's possible to achieve – the previous two years we finished P9 but we could've finished much higher. I remember racing in P5 at some point in both 2015 and 2016 but in the end we just didn't make the most out of those situations... So we definitely want more this year!
The meerkat has always been one of my favourite animals, since I was a kid and I used to watch Disney's Lion King film, with Timon and Pumba! I remember visiting the Melbourne Zoo in 2015 and seeing some of they were so much fun to watch! My PR girl bought me a toy meerkat from the souvenir shop and since then it's become a bit of a lucky charm. And I have to say that now I have toy meerkats from all around the world because fans are constantly giving me this as presents, which is funny!
Because of the fact that the Australian GP is the first race and the one that's most far away, it's the race where we arrive the earliest. I get there on Sunday night, a week before the race, so we have some free time there – I use it to adapt myself to the time change and I therefore have some time for myself, so you get to know the city better and visit some cool places.
In the gym, every morning during the race week, I always train with Arnold Schwarzenegger because he stays in the same hotel as me! At least this has been the case during the last two years, let's see if he's there again this year; I find it pretty cool!
I've had two DNF's the last two years in Australia, but I prefer to forget about that and only remember my debut there back in 2014, when I scored my first points for Toro Rosso. I'm excited to go back there again and to finally kick-off the season!
I'd say I get to the first race of the season fitter than ever. The preparation has been key this winter – it's important every season, but this time even more because of the regulation change... So we've really put in a lot of time and effort to be physically and mentally ready for this new season.
I've visited Melbourne quite a few times because we always get there quite early in the week in order to avoid being jet-lagged. It's a lovely city with a very cool lifestyle – I enjoy being a tourist and I wouldn't mind living there! The only problem is that it's a bit far away, I think I'd miss my family and I'm happy where I am now, in Monaco.
I've never seen a kangaroo, I'd really like to see one this time. They are very funny to watch!
I remember really enjoying the breakfasts in Australia! The hotel where we stay at is always amazing, so I get a big breakfast every morning that week!