I just landed in Montreal a short while ago, having spent almost a week back at home in Sao Paolo and with just the one hour time difference between the two cities, there is no problem linked to jet lag, which is a good thing. It had been quite a while since I had been in Brazil, so I did not do much except stay at home, catching up with friends and family. As in the rest of the world, the Senna film has, not surprisingly, had a big impact here in Brazil and I went to the cinema to see it. I enjoyed it, because the director found images we had never seen before and the subject was well researched, covering not just all the highlights of Ayrton’s career, but also the political situations that developed around him. Even people with no interest in F1 have felt it was compelling viewing. Of course I also worked on my training and kept in touch with the guys back in the factory to see what developments are coming on the car. In the past, by the time you got to Canada, the shape of the championship was pretty much defined already, but now, as the calendar is so long, we cannot say anything is decided for sure yet. So, everyone in Maranello is working flat out in their respective areas to continue improving the car so that myself and Fernando can race competitively, as we showed we could in the last couple of races, even if in terms of points, I have gone through a bad patch. I hope that will come to an end in Canada.
Montreal is a place I enjoy coming to. To tell the truth, the circuit is not one of my favourites, but the city itself is great and the people are very welcoming and keen on Formula 1, with plenty of support for Ferrari among the fans. My results have not been that good here, the best being a fourth place in 2005. I also had a very good race in 2008, when I was fighting for a place on the podium until a refuelling problem at my pit stop. I then had to pass a lot of people coming through from the back of the pack to finish fifth at the flag. At the very least, I would hope to aim for my best ever Canadian GP result this weekend and to finish on the podium would be great. The track presents all sorts of interesting challenges and it is not very easy to set up the car, because the track surface evolves all through the weekend, starting off with virtually no grip at all on Friday morning. You need a car that works well over the kerbs, has good traction out of the slow turns, but this is actually a fast track, so you need good top speed too. That makes finding the best set-up and the right level of aerodynamic downforce a complex task for the drivers and the engineers. We will run quite low downforce to suit this circuit and to generate more speed and with the help of some updates on the aero front I expect we can be quite competitive. Further complicating the work is the fact that we can expect tyre degradation to be very high, so even though we have the same tyre compounds as in Monaco, don’t expect to see people attempting a one stop race this weekend.
As far as the championships are concerned, at Ferrari, we will never give up fighting. However, it is very clear that Sebastian (Vettel) is doing a great job, winning every race except one and even that time he finished second! He and his team are looking very strong, but we are tackling the championship one race at a time and everyone is still working very hard to make the car competitive so that we can continue fighting all the way to the end of the season. This coming weekend will be a very busy one for Ferrari on a global scale, because apart from the Grand Prix in Montreal, various factory supported private teams will be tackling the Le Mans 24 Hours in France in Ferrari 458 Italia and 430 GT cars. It shows just how much racing is at the very heart of everything that goes on in Maranello. Endurance racing is completely different to the sprint that is a Formula 1 race, with drivers having to race in the dark and cope with very different challenges. It’s something that I might consider one day when my Formula 1 career comes to an end and I hope all the Ferraris racing there have a successful weekend.