Melbourne, 1 April - Things did not go as we expected or hoped. Qualifying was very disappointing; it is useless trying to hide it. It is true that the rather cold temperatures – here it is autumn – were not favourable. However, we did not think that we would be outside the top ten. In the second part of the session, Ferrari spun off the track on quite a fast lap while Michael missed qualifying by just four thousandths. A fraction, but in a sport that strives to make the tiniest improvements, a few thousandths make a big difference and we saw as much today.
The mood is not the best on this cold Melbourne evening. The mechanics worked hard until 18.30 – the time that the car has to be turned over to the FIA – to prepare a new car for Felipe as chassis 252 was damaged in the collision with the barrier and was impossible to repair. Luckily, the engine is intact and so was mounted, with the gearbox, onto chassis 250 – the first example of the 248 F1 produced. Tomorrow, when the car will be handed back to the team, the final refinements will be made.
The only advantage of our grid position is that we can wait until the very last moment before choosing the fuel load with which to start the race. If there is the variable weather we saw today, this could be an important aid. Incidentally, the forecast is for dry conditions. However things go, we have to try to give our all and do what we can to finish in the points. As in Malaysia, we find ourselves in a position of damage limitation and not one where we can attack for the maximum result. We have to do what is necessary!