Tomorrow I fly to Germany for the start of what will be a very busy period, with two Grands Prix on consecutive Sundays. It might seem an unusual thing for a race driver to wish for, but my greatest hope is that I can have a normal race. If I think back to everything that happened to me in the last three races, sometimes I still find it hard to believe that I had so much bad luck: in Montreal and Silverstone I was involved in collisions on the opening lap and in Valencia, the Safety Car came at just the wrong time for me and ruined my race. In all three of those races, our Friday and Saturday performance had proved we had a competitive car, but I never managed to translate that potential into points on the Sunday. So, my main aim is to have a trouble-free weekend from start to finish: of course I wouldn’t be a racing driver if I did not have thoughts of winning the race, even if we know that, at the moment, Ferrari is up against some very strong opposition, but really, if there are no unusual incidents on Sunday and we can race to our full potential, then I will be satisfied, because if we manage to do that, then I am sure a good result is waiting for us.
It’s true you cannot do much about luck, good or bad, but in terms of being as well prepared as possible for this weekend, everyone at the factory has been working very hard since the last race and I have been to Maranello twice to have meetings with our engineers, to fully understand the new developments and then last Monday, I spent the day driving the Hockenheim track on our simulator, as well as taking part in more meetings. I have always enjoyed driving at this circuit and this year we will have the novelty of using slick tyres here for the first time, as last year’s race was held at the Nurburgring. The last time we came here, in 2008, I finished third and in 2006, I was second behind Michael (Schumacher) and in fact, I have always finished in the points here since I have been driving for Ferrari. In a way, I regret that I never got the chance to drive on the famous old Hockenheim layout, with its long straights through the forests, so this new version is the only one I know. I think the track characteristics should suit our car quite well and I hope we will be competitive there. We are pressing forward with the car development, even if it seemed much improved in the last few races and here we will have a new diffuser, which we will evaluate during Friday’s free practice. I am sure other teams will also be moving forward on the technical front, but we must just concentrate on our own job and not concern ourselves with that.
I have not done much else since the last race, because with two trips to Maranello and my usual physical training work, there has been plenty to keep me busy. To drive from my home in Monaco to the factory can take around four hours, sometimes more if there is traffic and although it can occasionally be a pleasant drive, especially in a Ferrari, I sometimes prefer to fly, in order to save time. Here in Monaco, it is very hot at the moment, which means it is perfect for endurance training outdoors and also for spending time relaxing with the family. There won’t be much time for that now until after the Hungarian Grand Prix, as we prepare to tackle two races that will be very important in terms of the final outcome of the championship.