I’m in Tokyo for a few days of relaxation in the middle of this long trip to the Far East. It’s a city I really like – always new and interesting – and it’s a pleasure to be able to spend a bit of time here. The outcome of the Japanese Grand Prix remains positive, even now in the cold light of day. We are in a phase of the season where one negative weekend can cost us dear and to come away with a good third place from a race that we expected to be difficult was important. We were certainly hoping that perhaps the situation would have been different in Suzuka but we must not forget that it’s a track that seems to have been designed to show off the qualities of the Red Bull. As early as Friday we understood that it would be difficult and, even if we knew what was coming, there remains a bit of regret that we couldn’t fight for the win. But now we must put the weekend behind us and concentrate on the next race, where we know that we must try to raise our level of performance: another 5th place in qualifying would certainly not help us.
In Korea we will have to attack because now we must close the gap to Webber. To lose any more ground would make the situation more complicated. We’ve been working on the new track for a few days on the simulator: the first two sectors are very quick with long straights while the last sector reminds me of the last part of the circuit at Abu Dhabi. The tarmac is wide, which should make it possible to try overtaking moves. I’m always curious to discover a new circuit, both from a personal and professional point of view. From next Wednesday onwards I will try to discover if the simulations have been accurate enough. Then we will have a few more kilometres of running available on Friday compared to usual so we can find the right feeling on the track.
I still think that the fight for the title is open for five drivers. Too many times this year we’ve seen someone come back into the game after they’d seemed out of it – and that could easily happen again. Having said that, perhaps the only one who can afford a bad weekend is Webber: for all the others it would perhaps mean giving up any chance, especially the ones who are a bit behind today. The Korean Grand Prix could therefore start to be decisive for some – and for me it will be important also to be able to count on my team-mate Felipe. I know that he will be really hoping to make up for two negative results and he has all the capacities required to return to the podium. What’s more, it will be very useful to work together to discover all the secrets of the new track so we can prepare our cars in the best way. In a moment like this every detail matters to achieve our goals.