Sepang, April 1st 2009 - It’s not unusual for me to have a difficult start to the season, as the Australian race has unfortunately always been one where luck does not seem to have been with me. And that was definitely the case again this year. A tough start is something we know how to deal with as a team, but I would say that the difference for this year is that while, in the past, we knew we had a great car, I think this year there are definitely some teams currently running a better package than the one we have made around the F60.
On the plus side, my impression is that the nature of the Albert Park circuit and the conditions over the weekend were particularly unfavourable to our car and so, the situation for the future is not as bad as it might look from the outside. In winter testing, the car was stronger than this and it was also easier to drive, so the combination of the type of track surface and the tyres exaggerated the difficulties we had in Melbourne. At the start of the weekend we already saw we were going to struggle a bit making the tyres work, but then the situation actually got worse in this respect as the weekend went on. With the Malaysian race weekend starting in just a few days, there is no way we are going to significantly develop our car, but we can improve the way we work with it, based on all the data we gathered in Australia. Even if the car was not so strong in terms of its race pace, we should have been capable of picking up some points, but we didn’t because of reliability issues, so this too is an area we need to watch carefully.
In Melbourne, I was pleased with the way the KERS worked, especially at the start, which was very good and the KERS was very useful for me. I used it all through the race and it helped me defend my position and it was also useful at the restart after the Safety Car period, so I think it’s important to keep working with it.
When it comes to discussing the order for the teams, we don’t even need to mention the Brawns, as they are in a different class at the moment. But I think we are competitive with the rest. As for Malaysia this weekend, while that team will be out in front, I think Ferrari can be much more competitive there. I have arrived in Malaysia now, having left Melbourne on Monday night and I will be doing a bit of outdoor training to get used to the heat and humidity, although to be honest, it doesn’t bother me that much. I hope I have a good weekend and that Scuderia Ferrari does too.