The German Grand Prix is bang in the middle of the 2011 championship: we have had nine races so far and, after the one at the Nurburgring, we will face the same number again. Some might say that makes it a time to assess what’s gone before, but I prefer not to look too closely at the standings. We had a difficult start, but from a few races ago up until now, we have got back to being competitive. It cannot be denied that we have made progress, up to the point where we have actually taken a fully deserved win on one of the tracks – Silverstone - that on paper was least suited to our car. However, that great victory must not change our approach: we most continue to tackle one race after another, without looking at the classification and then, at the end, we will do the maths. So we head off for Germany in the same spirit we demonstrated in England, but with the additional awareness that we are now more competitive.
After the race across the Channel, I came back to spend a few day relaxing at home. I know we have two very busy weeks ahead of us so I thought it best to recharge the batteries, spending some time with my family and doing some training. From Monday evening, I was in Maranello where I was involved in preparations for the German Grand Prix, which meant a lot of work on the simulator and meetings with the engineers. But in addition, there were also a whole range of activities that see me ever more involved in life at Ferrari. For example, yesterday I took part in a prizegiving ceremony for the top three finalists in a Ferrari World Design Contest: it was very interesting for me to see how much passion these youngsters from all over the world have for their vision of the Ferrari of the future. This morning I was involved in some promotional work, along with two of our partners and then I was invited by President Montezemolo to Podio Ferrari, the event that brings together in Maranello, all the company’s suppliers, both those that work with the Scuderia and those whose relationship is with our colleagues on the road car side. The four prizewinners got the chance to do some laps of the Fiorano track in a 458 Italia: I don’t know if they expected me to be their driver, but I think they enjoyed the experience! Finally, I went to say hello to over four hundred kids, all children of the workforce here, who were taking part in the summer camp organised by the company. As you can imagine, it meant total immersion in the world of Ferrari and it will continue right up to the end of the month. In fact, already from Sunday night, after the German Grand Prix, I will travel back to Maranello with the team and stay another three days before we all head off together for Budapest. The 7th August marks the start of the factory shut-down established by FOTA, which means we will have to prepare for the Spa race, one of the most interesting of the year, well ahead of time. That’s why I think this will be a very busy time, but I have to say I am really getting to like feeling part of this world.
Now might not be the time to think too much about all that, because as from tomorrow, a race weekend gets underway at the historic venue that is the Nurburgring, where I have already won twice. There’s a saying about something happening twice, but I don’t want to jinx my chances by saying it, so it’s up to the fans to work out what it is!