Wow, that was a long journey! The trip from Brazil to Melbourne is the longest one of the year and you really feel you have crossed the world by the time you get to passport control in Melbourne Airport. I arrived in Australia at around one in the morning Tuesday, having left Brazil on Sunday. At the moment, I feel pretty much okay after flying for thirteen hours from Sao Paolo to Dubai and then another ten hour flight to here. It’s not just tiring because it is a long journey, but also because of the jet lag and the time difference can affect you if you do not know how to deal with it. The important thing is to always consider what the time is at your destination, so when I got on the first plane, I slept for about ten hours out of the thirteen. Then in the second plane, I tried not to sleep at all to be awake during Australian daytime. Once I got to my hotel here in Melbourne, I then slept again from four to ten in the morning.
I felt pretty good and after waking up, I went to the gym and worked up a good sweat doing some running because physical exercise really helps get over the jet lag. Then, in the afternoon, I went for a walk in the city, which I love to do, because there is a lot to see here and also because being out in the sunshine is reckoned to be another good cure for dealing with tiredness because of the different time zone. In fact, I will do some sort of training every day now before we start driving at the track on Friday.
I enjoyed being home in Brazil since the Bahrain Grand Prix and made the most of it to catch up with friends and spend time with the family. After Malaysia, we will move back to Monaco for most of the season, so it was important to have this time in Sao Paolo. Almost every day, I was keeping in touch with my engineers back at the factory in Maranello and I know that the team has been working hard since Bahrain on two fronts: firstly on sorting out the difficulty we had with engine cooling and secondly with our plan for race by race improvement to the whole car package. All the news from Italy seemed positive, so maybe we will have something good to talk about this weekend, which would make a change from Australia as neither myself nor the Scuderia has enjoyed a particularly successful race weekend here over the past couple of years. If we had some technical issues in Bahrain, the way the team operated at the track for the first race worked well, so we will continue in the same direction this weekend. We need to see what happens with the weather as I have heard there is a chance of rain on Sunday. We also need to get an early understanding of how the different types of tyre work here and that’s something we will know more about by the end of Friday practice. Even though I haven’t had much luck here, I enjoy driving this track. The race can often be full of incidents and we will need to plan for all eventualities, as we have seen the Safety Car appear here quite often.
I’m looking forward to getting to the Albert Park circuit, as there is always a real buzz about the place, especially if you are a Ferrari driver, because we get so much support from the Australian fans, including the large Italian community here in Melbourne.