After the summer break, it was nice to be back “at work” racing at the fantastic Spa circuit and the weekend started in a nice way when nearly all the drivers attended a small party to celebrate my friend Rubens Barrichello’s three hundredth Grand Prix. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever match this statistic, as I reckon I will stop racing before that landmark figure. But I am pleased for him, as it is a very nice statistic, and it is a great achievement in a successful career.
Looking back a couple of days to the Belgian Grand Prix, I started sixth and finished fourth, so at a certain level, I could say that I had a good race. However, in terms of the result and in terms of the championship and the points total for Ferrari, it was not enough. Given the difficult conditions, with the weather changing several times during the race, this was a positive performance in difficult conditions. However it was not what I expected, or what the team had hoped for, given the fact that in Spa, the car was not as competitive as it had been in the two previous races in Hungary and Germany. This was probably another example of how, this year, the situation in terms of which teams are competitive, has been governed by the nature of the track. On Friday, we had looked very strong, while we were less so on Saturday and Sunday, so maybe our competitors did not show their full potential on the first day. This meant the whole weekend was more difficult than we expected. On Sunday, the changing conditions meant that just staying on the track was quite difficult and given how easy it was to make a mistake, I was pleased with my performance, even if I had a solitary race, never really being able to challenge those ahead, while I did not have much pressure from behind.
On Sunday I will be returning to the Hungaroring, for a Ferrari Racing Days event, where I will be doing some demonstration laps in a Formula 1 car, the 2008 model, which for obvious reasons definitely has some special memories for me. Today I am Maranello, where I had meetings with my engineers and also did a session on our simulator, in preparation for the next round, the team’s home Grand Prix at Monza. That will be a great event, racing in front of our tifosi, but the reality is that it will be a very important race, because after the less that satisfactory performance in Belgium, the championship is not looking so easy for us. We need to keep pushing for the last six races, trying to be back in the fight for wins or at least as many podiums as possible. For sure it won’t be easy.