Monza was definitely a good weekend and given the fact that, for one reason or another, in the past I never got a good finishing result in the Italian Grand Prix, it was fantastic to finally stand on that unique podium. It was incredible to look out and see the fans stretching for about one kilometre along the start-finish straight and amazing to hear the people shouting your name. All in all, a great feeling.
Finishing third having started from the same position is a positive result, but of course you always think after a race that maybe you could have achieved something more. First of all, there were the very exciting opening moments, where maybe I could have gained position in a very close fight and then I was lucky not to have any damage on the car in my battle with Hamilton. I feel that later on, I had a chance of getting ahead of Button if we had stayed out on track a bit longer before the pit stop, as I had quite a gap to the car behind me. But you can never know what might have happened and I am not complaining, because it was a great result all the same and particularly good for the team, in terms of points for our fight in the championship.
In Monza, we always stay in a lovely old style hotel and on Saturday I enjoyed having dinner there with Eric Clapton. We have been friends for a while now and we always keep in touch, having first met because he is a big Ferrari fan. And no, I never asked him for tips on how to play the guitar, because I think it would be painful for me, but even more painful for him to have to listen!
We always expected the car to work well at Monza, as I said before the race, when I pointed out that this year, performance is very track specific. As our car is good under braking and has excellent traction, we could be fairly confident going into the weekend. On top of this consideration, the car itself has improved anyway and that work continues for the remaining races. In fact, on Thursday I was in Maranello to spend some time with the engineers and work in the simulator: I have driven not only the Singapore track, but also I was looking forward to tackling the new Korean circuit on the simulator, as it is always interesting to try something new. We have to keep pushing hard for these last five races and spending time in the factory is an important part of that, now that there is no testing.
As for Singapore, it is yet another race that I missed last year, which is an additional reason to look forward to this year’s Grand Prix. In 2008, for reasons we all know, the race turned into a nightmare for me, having started so well. I had a really strong qualifying, setting pole, around six tenths of a second quicker than anyone else, so I was hoping for a nice victory. Let’s see what we can do this time.