We can begin by talking about the World Cup, although sadly in the case of my Brazil team, it is more of an ending than a beginning, since they were knocked out by Holland. It has been a tournament full of surprises, with many teams who were expected to do well, falling out early. In the case of Brazil, we were winning everything, but once we came up against Holland, the team felt under a lot of pressure and after scoring the first goal, the team then lost direction when the others equalised. That’s the World Cup; either you put in a complete performance for every game or you lose. It’s a bit like Formula 1 in that respect. I will still follow the rest of the matches, but not with the same level of interest.
In any case, my main focus for the next few days is all on Silverstone. I watched the MotoGP race there on television a few weeks ago and my impression is that the new track layout is very different to the old one with some of the new ‘slow’ corners even slower than before. We will have to learn the handful of new corners on Friday, to judge if we need to make significant changes to the type of set-up we have run here in other years, although much of the data we have from the past will still be relevant as several sections are much the same as before. It means that when I walk the track on Thursday with my engineers, as we do at every race, it will be a bit more important than usual. When you approach a new section of track on foot, you are looking for a variety of things: what the asphalt surface is like, whether there are any bumps on the racing line, where you think the correct braking points will be and the best way to approach the corner. You have to assess whether the braking point and entry to the corner is a priority, or if it is more a case of looking for good traction out of the corner, if there is a straight immediately after the turn for example. So there are many points that can be important to keep in mind once you are actually driving the car and you can find that the assumptions you made when on foot need to be modified once you are in the car and so you might decide to change your racing line. It only takes a few laps to find your way round, although with every lap you improve, especially on a new section of track, but I would say that after five to ten laps, you should be completely on top of the situation.
I hope we make another good step forward this weekend, with the new updates we are bringing to England, because we saw in Valencia and even in Canada, that the F10 is progressing in terms of competitiveness, even if for various reasons, that did not translate into good race results. In fact, this weekend should provide a very clear test of how much we have improved, both in pure performance and in terms of where we stand against the teams currently ahead of us. Of the tracks we have raced at so far this year, Silverstone is most similar to Istanbul, where we had an uncompetitive weekend, so if the F10 works well here, we will know we are on the right road.
Even if we have a good British GP weekend, we cannot afford to relax for a moment, because we know we are a bit behind in the championship and we are at the halfway point of the season. In addition, from Silverstone to Budapest, we now have to tackle three Grands Prix in four weeks, with further developments coming immediately for Hockenheim and the Hungaroring, which means these three races will be very important and we will be pushing very hard to try and get ahead of our competitors. The next month will be a tough schedule for everyone in Formula 1 and from a physical point of view I have also been working hard with my usual training programme in the run up to this weekend and then I will do the same in the run up to the German race, but after that there will be no time for much physical preparation before Hungary. Back to back races are a regular feature on the calendar and in fact, it is easy to deal with physically, because actually driving a Formula 1 car is just about the best training you can do! But before then we have Silverstone, which is a circuit I have always liked, even if we will have to see what it feels like now with the changes. There is always a good atmosphere here as the crowd is really passionate about motor sport in general and about Formula 1 in particular. It is fantastic for us drivers to go to countries like this where the people love your sport, know it and understand everything about it.