I am now back in Europe having spent all of the break since the Hungarian Grand Prix at home with my family in Sao Paolo. On the Monday after Budapest I went to Maranello for a day working on the simulator and from there I flew to Brazil. What did I do in these few weeks? To be honest, very little, just enjoying catching up with friends and family members that I don't see so often when I am based in Monaco for much of the season. It's winter in Brazil right now, so it did not feel like the time to take a real holiday going somewhere special. With all the travelling we do for work, staying in hotels around the world, for me, staying at home was the best holiday anyway.
Even at home, I did manage a day at the race track, at the Interlagos circuit and it was a very different feeling to being at a grand prix. We have a championship supported by Fiat here in Brazil, which has one category for single-seaters, one for touring cars and a third for motorbikes and I had an enjoyable time doing a day's testing in the touring car. It took me back to the last time I raced cars that had a roof, when I raced Alfa Romeos in 2001!
With everyone starting back at work in Maranello at the beginning of the week, I have already been on the phone talking with Stefano (Domenicali) and with my race engineer Rob (Smedley) just to catch up with the latest news about their holidays and more importantly to find out how preparations are going for this weekend in Spa. Of course, even if no work has been permitted because of the agreement between the FOTA member teams for the past two weeks, work was already carried out before the break to prepare for the next two races in Belgium and in Italy and we will be bringing some aero updates to Spa, including new wings to try out. Everything seems to be going in the direction we expected, so I hope we can have a good weekend. Like most drivers, I love driving at Spa and I have some good memories of winning there in 2008, finishing second the year before that, while last year I was just off the podium in fourth spot. I will be aiming for a repeat of 2008! I have been following the discussion regarding the use of DRS at the Eau Rouge corner and I think banning its use there for the whole weekend is the right decision: as racing drivers, we would always try and use DRS there and that could lead to an accident, because of the particular nature of the corner. So, just as was the case in the tunnel in Monaco, I think this is the best solution. I see there has also been talk about re-introducing some testing during the F1 season and I have to say I would be in favour of this. All drivers and teams want to be as well prepared as possible for each race and, as the top level of motorsport, some testing during the year should be allowed. Of course, we will never return to the way it used to be, with testing almost every day in between races, which was incredibly expensive. Maybe, we could do what they sometimes do in MotoGP and stay on at some circuits on the Monday after a race, which would reduce costs.
So now we come to the final eight races of the season, which means there is still a lot of racing ahead of us and I agree with Domenicali that, as a team, we should simply try and win as many races as possible and score plenty of points, without looking too closely at the championship situation. Certainly from a personal point of view, my most immediate aim is to try and record my first victory of this year. It's not going to be an easy few months, but we are certainly not going to give up. There is always a special atmosphere at Spa and I'm not just referring to the weather. It is one of those tracks where you get a sense of history and this weekend, one of my former team-mates has a historic moment of his own as Michael Schumacher will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his first ever Formula 1 race, which took place in Belgium in 1991. Apart from all his other achievements, this is another great one and I am sure he is proud of it. I definitely like the idea of also spending twenty years in F1, but I'm not sure if I can do it! I've enjoyed relaxing during this break, which was very welcome after a busy time up to Hungary, but now I am fully rested and eager to go racing once again, because all of us at Ferrari is keen to prove to our fans that we can do better in these final eight races than we did in the first eleven.