Hello again. Only a few days in between races so I have not done much since my last blog. I came here to Sepang, via Dubai and I've just concentrated on doing a bit of training at the same time of day as the race, to try and get used to the heat.
As you may have read elsewhere, I will start the race ten places lower down the grid than where I qualified, because my engine had to be changed after the race. Some people have asked me if that's an advantage as I will at least have a fresh engine for this really difficult race. But I've never met a racing driver yet who wouldn't want to be as high up the grid as possible, old engine or not. Anyway, with all the changes to engine rules for this year, I don't think I'll be the only guy with an engine change penalty by the time the race starts on Sunday. It's normal that not all the teams are 100 percent reliable at this stage. But in the past, in other formulas, I used to like racing through the field from near the back, so hopefully I can do that again.
But I also liked winning from the front and getting onto the front row in Bahrain, especially as the only car next to me was also a red one, was a great feeling. It's been a long time since I had such a good view of the traffic lights at the start of a race with nothing but an empty track in front of me. In fact, it was way back in 2001 when I was racing in the Euro F3000 series in Italy.
Despite the problems with the engine and then at the pit stop, when an air line union came apart and cost me a lot of time, I really enjoyed that race. I am sure I could have made it to the podium, but no point thinking about the past now. I was competitive straight from the start and my pace was great in the race. I was unlucky, but I hope we get the luck back with plenty of races still to come. Before the problems, the fight looked to be between me and Michael and I hope that fight continues here. It is a very healthy situation when you have both cars pushing at the front of the field.
This is the toughest race of the year, not that it's so hot, but the humidity really gets to you. To be honest, most times, I've not felt too bothered physically here, but 2004 was a tough one because I didn't have power steering. I don't recommend that. Driving the car was like trying to park a car in a very tight place! It was actually the hardest race of my life and I don't know how I finished.
During the race here, I start with about one and a half litres to drink on board the car with me, but before that I can drink maybe three litres just before getting in the car. In fact, right from now on Thursday, I make a conscious effort to get as much water down me as possible to make sure I'm as hydrated as possible. But it means that every fifteen minutes you need to go to the toilet! But funnily enough, once you're in the car you don't think about that anymore.
So, it all starts again tomorrow and I just hope the luck is with me this time. Talk again after the race.