Finally, a bit of time off! After the Valencia weekend, I went straight to Maranello where I spent two packed days both on the technical and the promotional front. This morning I went back home to relax for a few days before setting off again for the next Grand Prix, in England this time, at Silverstone.
With the team, we went back over the last race and the short and long term development plans. I take away good memories from Valencia. It was a positive weekend, especially the race. In fact it meant I filled a gap in my trophy collection, but the best part of it was seeing again the delight of the crowd when I passed Mark, first on track and then at the pit stop: racing in Spain is always something special!
It is a key time in the season. We are moving forward, as could be seen in the last three races, but now we must also confirm the progress seen at Monaco, Montreal and Valencia on a track with completely different characteristics, which is definitely more suited to our main rivals. At Silverstone, you need a lot of aerodynamic downforce and this is area where we are lagging behind. We will have some new parts, but there’s a step from that to saying we will have made up the difference…Maybe! We must be realistic and accept that it’s not possible that in less than two months – the time past since the Barcelona race – we have closed the gap that was seen at the Catalunya circuit. It wasn’t a whole lap, because that was down to the way the race panned out, but it was definitely bigger than what we have seen in the last three races. We must continue to work on improving the car and then I am sure the win will come. When? I don’t have a crystal ball to be able to give a definite answer.
In Maranello, I had the opportunity to meet a driver who has been part of the history of Formula 1 and of Ferrari, John Surtees. We took part in a promotional event organised by our technical partner Shell and he was very interesting to talk to, comparing our experiences as drivers and, above all, talking about our lives with a special team like Ferrari. It’s nice to meet people who can give you a first hand account of what Formula 1 was like back then!
Today, the team told me about Pirelli’s tyre choices for the coming three races. At the British Grand Prix, we will be running the Soft and the Hard, the same choice that featured in the early stages of the championship. Okay, for us that means one more challenge, namely being able to make all types of tyre work as well as possible. Anyway, the tyre choice is the same for everyone and there’s no point discussing if the pair of compounds chosen is more suited to one team or another. It’s up to the teams to adjust the cars to get the best out of the tyres both in terms of performance and life.