Lamb & Huxtable Pre Season Chat

Posted on: 22nd Jan 2015

When it comes to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Nigel Lamb is a very experienced seasoned professional. Every season has seen his results improve and he has risen up the table.

The sensible money was on him winning the World Championship sooner rather than later. And even Lamb concedes that he might have been crowned champion before now if it hadn't been for the hiatus. "In 2010 we ended in third after finishing sixth the season before. So, as a team, we would've preferred that the break didn't happen because we had momentum," explained Lamb.

That momentum wasn't slowed down by the break. 2014 was a fantastic season for the Brit but he knows this year is going to be tougher: "It's going to be a very interesting season, because if you look at last year, nine out of the 12 pilots had a podium finish. Out of the three that didn't, two were former World Champions and one was a race winner! Everyone knows how to get to the top and what's required. All the rules are designed to keep a level playing field so I don't see any reason why anyone can't get onto the podium," said Lamb.

With five second place finishes in a row last season Lamb knows about consistency, he believes that's what it's going to take to win this year: "I don't think it's inconceivable for someone to win the championship without ever finishing on the podium," he explained. "If you finish fourth in every race, you'll still be getting five points – consistency is going to be key."

Lamb knows his main competitors are Paul Bonhomme, Hannes Arch, and Nicolas Ivanoff, to name just three. But he's not discounting anyone, including the two pilots that have made the leap up from the Challenger Cup, "Even the new guys have a chance to win. I don't know them too well, but they're definitely ones to watch. François has so much experience, to win the World Aerobatic Championship, that's mega! It's a huge achievement, so he's obviously incredibly good. And everyone says Juan flies amazingly well. Whether they've worked out the winning formula or not is another matter," said Lamb.

With the new season just days away the time for testing is done, but the team are pleased with what they've achieved during the offseason. "We've completed the bigger modifications that we wanted to,"said Hux. "A tiny margin costs so much. You can throw away a second without knowing about it, that's why there's a lot to be said for spending money on handling, rather than aerodynamics."

Lamb agrees with his Team Technician: "It's not like Formula One, where you can run a car round a track and in a very short space of time come to a conclusion, which they probably came to in the wind tunnel.

"Everything stays the same for them. They can measure the track temperature and have the set up. We can't do that. For example, for 2010 we made five substantial modifications, and improved, but we don't know what worked and what didn't. Three might have been beneficial and two might have been detrimental."

The big question is, are they ready for the 2015 season? Now they've tasted success are they going to be hungrier than before? "It's really interesting. Getting into the right frame of mind is absolutely key,"said Lamb. "I have to find a way of getting the right balance again, and it's very difficult to achieve. We did it really well in 2014 and we need to recreate that," said Lamb. He concluded by saying: "The monkey is off my back. I know I can do it now!"