WAITING FOR IMOLA...
April 20, 2006
Hi there. I’m already in Italy, a few days ahead of the grand prix at Imola, having come up to Milan on Tuesday to see the Milan v Barcelona football game. Honestly, I like both teams, they are both very good and both have quite a lot of Brazilian players. I am a big fan of Ronaldinho, who set up Barcelona’s goal with a brilliant pass, but I also like Kaka very much so I was just pleased that it was an exciting game to watch.
I went back to Brazil immediately after the grand prix in Australia and spent a week there at home in Sao Paulo with my girlfriend doing nothing much at all. I got over the jet lag quite quickly, as it’s a shorter trip than coming back to Europe from Melbourne and I slept for most of the flight, got home around six in the evening and slept through the night again. I did some sport and worked in the gym.
Then last week I did three days of testing in Barcelona. I reckon things went pretty well. We got some useful stuff out of it, as regards the new aerodynamics on the car which is interesting. We also had some changes on the engine which take us in the right direction.
From there I returned to my other home in Monaco where I spent the Easter weekend. I had a quiet time again before making this short trip up to Milan.
So now we come to the reason I am here in Italy which is of course this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix. For me, this will be an amazing experience as it will be my first race in Italy as a Ferrari driver. All in all, I am partly Italian anyway, with my family having Italian roots. And I have also spent a big part of my life living here when I was racing in other formula. For me Italy is definitely what I consider to be my second home, so while this might be an important race for everyone at Ferrari and all its fans, it is also a significant event for me. I hope I can do a good job and be happy about things come next Monday!
Its’ true that, on paper, I don’t have much of a record at Imola in Formula 1, but even so, last year, I had a very good qualifying, finishing sixth at the end of the first session – remember we had two qualifying sessions back then – but after that I needed an engine change. That meant I did the second qualifying with a very heavy fuel load but even so, I set the eighth fastest time. I really believe I could have ended up in the top four if it had not been for the penalty that dropped me ten places. But in other categories, I always did well here, so I hope that I have a competitive car right from Friday and can put on a good show.