It was nice to be back in Maranello after Sunday afternoon’s win. In the plane, I was thinking again about the race and I could hardly believe it. Then, once I’d arrived here, I saw the smiles on the faces of all our people and I was very pleased to see how strong is the desire to work to improve the car in the shortest time possible.
During the race, I only began to think the win might be on after the final pit stop. With the intermediates I was trying to gain as much ground as possible but I knew that on a drying track, as the possibility of switching to the dry tyres became a reality, then it could all change. Then, after the stop, I saw that Perez was very quick and he was putting me under a lot of pressure, but I knew that all the same, there was only one dry line which was no more than two metres wide: even if he got right into my slipstream, getting past would not be easy and I was hoping I’d be able to fend him off all the way to the end.
It’s a shame none of my friends bet on me winning in Sepang, or on me leading the championship after the first two races: I think they’d have won an impressive amount! However, my real friends are all very happy and pleased about the win, but no one, including everyone in the team, is under any illusions. The championship has not got off to the sort of start we wanted and there is much much to do. But refusing to give up is a quality that I have always admired about Ferrari, when I was racing against them and also now that I’m part of the team. The next two races will also see us on the defensive and there’s no doubt about that. While we are incapable of being competitive and able to fight consistently for the podium or a win, limiting the damage is the only thing we can do. If the conditions are normal, we must try not to lose too many points compared to the best: let’s hope we can do the same as we did in Australia and Malaysia…
Now, I’ve got a few days here in Italy to undergo a routine medical check-up at the Physiology Centre at Forli where my trainer Fabrizio Borra reigns supreme. I do these medical and physical checks two or three times a year to see what shape I am in and to control every aspect of my body. Then, I’m heading back home to Spain to see the family, so we can spend a few days together. You need a bit of time to relax after such a demanding race as the one in Sepang and then it will be time to put the finishing touches to preparation for another back to back run, this time in China and Bahrain, which means more long journeys and changes of time zones. Imagine, when I left it was still winter and now, after three weeks away, we are right in the middle of spring: it’s a nice change!
The past three weeks have been my first on Twitter and I have to say it’s been a very enjoyable experience. It’s something I’d wanted to do for a while and I myself put the work in to get it up and running. Over the past months I had seen that there was a lot of talk about me on the Internet and on social media sites, so I thought it would be better if I was on it myself, don’t you think? It means I can give my own point of view, talk about my life, what I get up to when I’m travelling the world going to the races, trying to put across my real feelings. Nothing technical though, because deep down, Formula 1 is still a sport where discretion when it comes to certain aspects is still important, but it’s a way for me to describe what goes on in the world of someone who does the job I do. For now, it’s great, especially reading all the tweets from my followers and the suggestions they send me: I don’t reply to them, because it would take me all day, but I read all of them and I will try and improve my standard of tweeting. I have to say I was very surprised, first and foremost by the number of followers I had almost immediately. When I put up the first video I had made, I was having a stop off in Doha on the way to Australia and in the airport lounge, I had a bet with my manager and with my physio Edoardo as to how many followers I would have before leaving: I said a thousand, Luis eight hundred and Edoardo six hundred. Well, after four hours, when it was time to take off for Melbourne, the number had reached 39 thousand! Then there’s the level of enthusiasm: there are so many messages, all of them positive and I have to say that it gives me a real boost.