Dubai, 9 April – I am already in the Middle East in Dubai for a couple of days before moving on to Bahrain. Of course, what happened in Sepang yesterday was disappointing. We were quick on Friday, I took pole on Saturday but we did not have a good race pace on Sunday. Why? To be honest we are not exactly sure. Some of it came from elements of the car set-up and parts we used in the race, but what is clear is that McLaren had made a good step forward. But our race pace was not a fair reflection of what it could have been and what it is supposed to be, because both me and Kimi were stuck in traffic for a lot of the race. Of course, this was not supposed to have happened given that I started from pole and Kimi from third. It was not what we had expected, but after a start that was not very good for either us as we lost position, it cost us a lot. I cannot say if our real pace would have matched the McLarens, but I know we have a good car.
Lewis stopped on lap 20 and I refuelled on lap 17, so there was not a big difference in our fuel loads during the first stint of the race. But the only certainty I had was that, having lost position to Fernando and to Lewis, I knew that if I did not pass Lewis as soon as possible, my race was effectively over. The best I could have finished would have been third at that point. With me due to refuel on lap 17 and Lewis three laps later, I would never have overtaken him in the run of pit stops and so the only course open to me was to try and pass him on the track. That is why I said to myself that I did not want to sit behind him, looking at the back of a McLaren for the whole race! If people accuse me of making mistake, I say, yes I did make a mistake, because otherwise I would have been ahead of him. But, I am not disappointed that I tried to pass him. You have to try in life and if tomorrow I am in the same position, I would try again. Hopefully, I would get past this time! I know it can seem different from outside the car, but from inside the car, with the information we had, what I tried to do was the right thing.
We can always learn from our mistakes, but now I want to look ahead to the next race, after the disappointment of the past two grands prix. But I will only carry with me the positive things, like the fact I took pole position. As usual, I will be trying to win for myself and for Ferrari. I quite like the Bahrain circuit actually. Last year, I just missed out on pole to Michael (Schumacher) by a thousandth of a second. I had a very bad race, making a mistake and then I had a very long pit stop because I stayed in the pits for nearly 50 seconds with a stuck wheel. But I have always been competitive there and in the winter tests I was fast. Hopefully, we can get a better result in the race on Sunday.