Maranello - “For sure, the British Grand Prix was the best race of the season for me, after what looked like a less than perfect scenario starting from down in eleventh place. But then, we had a great strategy and I was able to run at a strong pace to finish fourth. It had not looked so promising during free practice and qualifying: at the moment, you have two teams, Brawn and Red Bull who are ahead of the rest, or maybe now Red Bull is out in front and behind these two we have three teams fighting each other while being very closely matched. So, if for any reason your car is maybe one or two tenths slower than the others in that group, then you will already be behind those and that puts you a long way down the order. That was the story of qualifying and then in the race, we found those missing tenths and were in front of that group.
“If for any reason you don’t do a perfect lap in qualifying you can fail to get through to Q3. But, for us, to be honest, the driving mistake I made in qualifying on Saturday in Silverstone in Q2, worked out in our favour, because I was able to choose the strategy we wanted in terms of the fuel load. And being able to do that brought a bigger advantage than if I had made it into Q3 and qualified ninth for example, when I would have found myself inevitably on a similar strategy to those directly ahead of me, so this definitely contributed to me being able to finish fourth.
“This weekend in Silverstone, Ferrari was the only team to use KERS. We continue to use it, because our car was designed around it and we will probably use it for the rest of the season. Developing the KERS cost a lot of money and we’ve ended up with a car that is not strong enough. The KERS has been useful to me and Kimi, especially at the start of the races, but in some ways, maybe if our car had been better and we could have started from the front, then we would not have needed the KERS so much to move up the order! As for the new components we brought to Silverstone, maybe our development was not really enough, if you look at how some of the other teams had moved forward. We need to keep working and trying and bring bigger developments to the next races if we can, but possibly we are reaching the limitations of the car that we’ve got. Of course, you can always improve a car, but maybe now, the work on next year’s car should be our main concern. There is still a need to keep developing the F60 however, because usually many elements can be carried over from one year to the next, or this year’s car can be used to try new ideas for 2010 when the rules will be similar to this year’s.
“Next we go to the Nurburgring, where we have not been for two years. But I can still remember the 2007 event, where I had a great race and would have won, but it rained in the last few laps and I really struggled on my rain tyres that were giving me a lot of vibration. That allowed Alonso to catch me and we had a good fight, then we touched each other and he got past and I had to settle for second. It was a shame as the race was in my pocket until the conditions changed. All the same it was a good result and I’d shown good pace, setting the race fastest lap.
As we haven’t been there for a while, it’s hard to tell if the Nurburgring will suit our car, but it is a good track and maybe the KERS should be more useful there than it was in Silverstone. Whatever happens, I hope we can have some more developments on the car for that race and I look forward to having a good weekend there. We have a bit of a longer wait than usual, as there are two free weekends before the next race, so I have taken the opportunity to fly home to Brazil, which I did a few hours after the British GP on the Sunday night. I will stay here at home for almost two weeks and then I will stop off at Maranello for some meetings before heading to Germany.”