Dear friends,Turkey was in every way a good result and as I said on Sunday night after the race, the Istanbul track is becoming a good place for me and definitely something special after two consecutive wins and two pole positions: special can be the only word. And from a team point of view, it was the best possible result, as we secured maximum points with a one-two finish.
“It is particularly good to have these Turkish successes as part of my F1 record, because I think this track is highly regarded from a driving point of view. I feel that the track is comparable to Spa and to Suzuka, in other words it is a “real” drivers circuit. I also like Spa and Suzuka. Last year in Japan I was on pole and was going well until I had a puncture and, in the past, I also had some very good results in Spa. I like these kinds of circuits and really perform well at them.
“In Turkey, Saturday’s qualifying was also very good. I got a great lap in which I got the most out of the car, especially when you consider I was not at all on an aggressive strategy in terms of fuel load. In the race my car was much better on the hard Bridgestone tyres, but importantly, it was still good on the softer rubber. During the race, I felt pretty much okay physically, even though it was very hot, with no particular problems right the way through to the end of the event. As for concentration, I had no time to relax as there was someone right behind me, pushing hard for the whole race, lap after lap. That meant I had to push hard also and when you do that, you can end up making a mistake and that’s what happened when I did make a slight error in the final stint. I had to concentrate and push hard every lap.
“At the moment, all four of us at the top of the Drivers’ championship have each won three races and it is quite possible that at the end of the season, I might have won more races than the others and still not be champion and it is also true for the other three drivers. We know that victory on its own is not enough and we have to be consistent throughout the year which has not always been the case for us this season. But we still have five races to go.
“It was nice to have my father in Istanbul and he was very happy at the end of the Sunday afternoon. He has followed my career from the very beginning and when I have a bad day, it is a bad day for him, when I have a great day it is also a great day for him as well. It was nice to see him enjoying this victory. On Sunday night, we had a small party in Istanbul to celebrate.
“When you win, it always brings an important boost. After I won in Turkey last year, I know I improved a lot mentally. Now we just need to keep improving, to keep pushing hard and this win has certainly made me even more committed to do that over the last few races. Before the next race, I am doing just one day’s testing at Monza and then we will have Ferrari’s home race at the same track the following weekend. It will be a very important moment in the championship.”