"carrying on in the same direction as in Germany"
July 17, 2009
Maranello - Four days after the German Grand Prix is obviously much too long to go for a racing driver without being on a race track! So after going home to Monaco on Sunday night I travelled to a place called Lonato, near Lake Garda in Italy to have some fun karting. It was like a Formula 1 race here, there was Michael (Schumacher), Kubica, Glock, Liuzzi and Nelsinho (Piquet) and Klien. It wasn’t a special event, it wasn’t even a race, we just decided to come here and have some fun driving 125 karts with gears. I think we all miss the F1 testing and this is a good way to keep fit and busy. Thursday afternoon, I travelled to Maranello as I attended an event there which involves driving some of our customers around the Fiorano race track.
Going back a few days to the German Grand Prix, being on the podium was a good feeling but also a strange feeling at the same time and it was definitely something I’d been missing. In a difficult season this was nice because it’s a sign of the improvement going on within our team. In the past few races we’ve been scoring points again, always in the top five so to do even better and finish on the podium was good, not just for me but also in terms of motivating everyone in the team and at the factory. It proves we are still fighting but it is important for us to keep working.
At Ferrari we are often asked why we have continued to use KERS and if you watched the helicopter shot of the start of the race you would have seen that me and Kimi and the two McLarens were in a class of our own, making up a lot of ground off the line. The point is that if we are lacking the downforce levels of the guys who are winning, at least KERS gives us an advantage in another way. I had a good weekend in Germany and there were some surprising performances, some good some bad from other teams and I think this is because, apart from the two top teams, everything is so close that if you have the slightest problem or one lap that isn’t as good as it should be you can slide down the time sheet from fifth to fifteenth.
After my day in Maranello, I’ll be heading home to Monaco and I will stay there until Wednesday when it will be time to go to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix. I haven’t got very good results at this race but that doesn’t mean I don’t race well there: if you remember last year I had the win in my pocket, but then my engine unfortunately let me down with just two laps to go. It’s a nice circuit to drive even if it’s not really one of my favourites, but ask me how we will get on in this race and to be honest I really don’t know. I hope we can carry on making improvements to our package, carrying on in the same direction as in Germany.