Taking points from Fernando's rivals
November 9, 2010
I have just arrived in Abu Dhabi, having left Sao Paolo on Monday night and, apart from the fact that I was racing in Brazil, in front of my home crowd, I can think of very little that was the good about the weekend in Interlagos. Qualifying did not go so well and then the problem with the wheel nut during my pit stop meant that my race was effectively over, as I had to come back in on the very next lap to change wheels again. If it had not been for that, I think I could have ended the race in the top five, which would have been a reasonable performance. From that point on, the race was very tough with so many cars in front of me. The situation with the traffic was particularly tricky and confusing. For example, at one point, Rosberg let me pass him and I did not understand why, but I think there was a bit of confusion with some drivers racing each other on the same lap being shown the blue flag by mistake. When the Safety Car came out, the situation got even more complicated. In my opinion, it was better when the rules allowed cars to un-lap themselves when they were behind the Safety Car, as it would have made the racing more interesting. This is especially true when you consider the situation in the championship, because there were at least a couple of backmarkers between Vettel and Webber at the restart and a lot more between Webber and Fernando, so it was not particularly good in terms of the show.
But now, let's look forward rather than back, as it is time for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. This will be a completely new track for me, as I was unable to race here last year, the first time this Grand Prix was on the calendar. I have driven it on the simulator and I have also used a computer game to practice it more at home in Brazil right up to yesterday so that I have as much information as possible, even if it is never the same as actually driving the track itself. Even though I was not racing in 2009, I did attend the Grand Prix and I thought the facility was fantastic. For Ferrari, this is a special event, as the team has strong links with the area through our sponsors Mubadala and Etihad and now there is also the Ferrari theme park, just outside the race track. As we will be staying in Abu Dhabi for a week after the race, when we have the Young Driver test and then the Pirelli test, I hope to get some time to spend at the park, which should be an enjoyable experience. Speaking of the Pirelli test, I am looking forward to it as it will be an interesting experience seeing what differences there are between them and Bridgestone, who have given us such good tyre service over so many years. It will be an important couple of days to get a good idea about tyre behaviour ahead of the winter break.
As for the Grand Prix itself, Ferrari is still in the fight for the Drivers' title and I really hope to be racing at the front, in the middle of the fight between the drivers still involved. If I can score some good points, taking them away from Fernando's rivals, it can be useful for him.