The Turkish Grand Prix was without doubt the worst event of the season. Our performance level was simply not competitive compared to McLaren and Red Bull and in qualifying, we even struggled against teams that up until now, were behind us. I wasn’t able to get to Q3 and so that compromised my race: when you start from twelfth, there is not much you can do.
On Sunday I did what I could: it was a case of damage limitation and I think we succeeded in that. On the opening lap I did not lose any places, which was not that easy given I was starting from the dirty side of the track. After that, I managed to get ahead of some cars thanks to a good pit stop strategy. Then came the most boring part of the race. I was at the back of a train made up of the two Mercedes, the two Renaults and the two Ferraris. We all had more or less the same pace, so overtaking would have been very tricky. At first, I tried to look after the tyres to see if that would give me a chance in the final laps and indeed, at the end, Petrov was struggling more than me with his tyres and I made the most of it to overtake him four laps from the chequered flag.
All the same, it wasn’t easy and in the passing move I damaged a wheel rim, but luckily I was able to finish the race without any problems, bringing home at least a few points. I am sorry I was not able to celebrate Ferrari’s eight hundredth Grand Prix in a fitting way. In Istanbul we were not quick enough and we have to react immediately. The championship is still wide open with everything to play for. I am fourth in the classification, fourteen points off the leader and if the old points system still applied, the difference would be just four. However, it’s clear we need to make a jump forward in terms of developing the car. Over the first four races, we matched the pace of our main rivals, but since we have been back in Europe, that is no longer the case. When I was racing against Ferrari, I admired its ability to react, producing probably the best development during the season. The people are the same now, so there is no reason why the same thing cannot happen this year: I trust our team and, above all, I trust in the will to win that every last one of us shares.
For Valencia, we will have a major update package which should see us make a good step forward, but I believe that already in Canada, we will have a different situation. The Montreal circuit will be better suited to the characteristics of the F10 and I think we will definitely be more competitive.