It’s only Wednesday, but I’m already at the track to at last speak face to face with the team, having been in touch by phone and email since the Turkish Grand Prix. I arrived in Montreal on Monday night and yesterday I spent the day doing some fitness training on a bicycle not far from here and the countryside was very nice.
I feel there is a great desire to turn things round after the difficult weekend in Turkey and everyone has reacted in the way I was expecting. Within all of Ferrari there is a passion for racing, which is something I realised from my very first day at Maranello and I am well aware that no one likes losing and that everyone is pushing to the maximum to give us drivers a competitive car.
Today, the team announced that Felipe’s contract has been extended to the end of 2012. I am very happy about this, because it means we can be sure the same group of people will be working together for another two years and stability is a very important part of being a successful team. I get on very well with Felipe and there is great mutual respect between us and immediately, it led to the necessary harmony that means we can work together in the long term. I have seen how close the guys are to him and it’s clear he is part of the Ferrari family.
In recent days there has been a lot of talk about us being late in terms of the development of our car. It’s not right to say development stopped after Bahrain: it’s a fact that in the first four races the distance in terms of tenths to the Red Bull has always been around the three to four tenths mark: while they brought updates to every race, so did we, which means that our work was at least as effective as theirs. What is true is that, in Spain, we did not make the step forward we were expecting, while the others made more progress than us. That explains the difficulties we experienced in Barcelona and, above all, in Istanbul. As for the blown rear wing, I think it has been useful to work on it, even if we have not yet got the most out of it.
Furthermore, I can see that other teams who are working hard on it are also struggling a lot, while those who had it on their car right from the start still have a clear advantage. I have every confidence in our team and I am convinced that here in Canada we will see a different situation to the one we had in Turkey. This track has more in common with those where we have been more competitive so far this season and I think we will be in the hunt. The situation in the championship is still very open, but clearly we have to get back to fighting for a podium finish as soon as possible.