I am here in Maranello getting ready for a special event, my first Italian Grand Prix as a Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. From a technical point of view, Monza is a very different race to all the others: its long straightsrequire a very low level of downforce and, as a consequence,unique aerodynamic elements. But clearly, this is not the only thing that makes Monza special: it is Ferrari’s home race and even if ours is a team that tackles every Grand Prix in the same way, giving it our best shot, always trying to win, there is no doubt that everyone in Maranello really wants to do well in front of our fans. You can see that on everyone’s faces, especially as, mixed in with the fans in the grandstands, many of our people will have their family and friends watching.
Even though we can no longer test on the Fiorano track, as we used to do up until a few years ago, I often spend time in Maranello in-between the races. From my very first day here, I discovered a great atmosphere in the factory: everyone is very friendly and you are soon made to feel part of the group. Apart from the work side – and there is always something to do, be it in the simulator or having meetings with the engineers – we always manage to spend a little time together as friends, maybe kicking a football around, going for a bike ride or having dinner together. And of course the food is fantastic! There is no point denying the fact this is a tricky moment of the season for us. In Monza, if we do not pick up a significant number of points and our competitors get the maximum and pull away in the lead, then the situation in the classification would become very difficult. I’m not saying it would be impossible to reach our target, because that kind of talk does not exist in Formula 1, but we are aware of the situation and we are ready to react to any eventuality.
As I said last week, in Spa the performance of the F10 did not live up to our expectations. The engineers have now carefully analysed the data from the race and from the aero test that Giancarlo Fisichella carried out down the straight at Vairano. It produced indications which led us to understand what did not work as it should have done and we have put those elements right for the next event. I am therefore confident about our chances of getting back to fighting for a place on the podium, just as we had done prior to the summer break.