A podium to complete the collection
November 9, 2011
I’m on my way to Abu Dhabi, where I will arrive this evening ahead of the penultimate round of this long season. We’ve now come to the end of the championship: there’s still second place in the drivers’ standings to play for but, to be honest, I would we much happier if we could add another win to the one we took at Silverstone in July. Talking to the guys in the team I can see they would really love to give me the chance to come second in the championship. I’m delighted it’s like that because I know they feel it would be some kind of recognition for the efforts that have been put in by everyone during the season. But you know how we drivers are made: we always want to come first and the other positions are less important.
I completely appreciate that winning will be very difficult. In this closing part of the season the relative positions are very clear but we have also seen there are some conditions in which we can fight for victory: as happened in Suzuka, for example. We know if we all get everything right we can fight for the top three but our natural qualifying position is on the third row. Then in the race things can go differently but that is the realistic situation. So our target is the podium. Apart from anything else that result would allow me to fill a gap in my trophy cabinet as Abu Dhabi is the only race on the calendar from which I have yet to bring home silverware.
I’m sure that the most frequent question in tomorrow’s press briefings will be about my return to the Yas Marina circuit after last year’s race. It would not be honest if I told you I won’t be a bit uncomfortable thinking about it tomorrow morning when I see the paddock for the first time. But then the feeling will vanish and it will leave room for the present, which is about aiming to do well this weekend and in the future: to learn as much as possible with next season in mind. It’s right that it should be like that because in sport, as in the rest of life, you must always look ahead. Abu Dhabi 2010 was an important stage in my career and I have no doubt that even through that bad day, my relationship with Ferrari has become even stronger.