The longest season ever in the history of Formula 1 is almost over. There are only the 4.309 km of the Jose Carlos Pace circiuit left, which have to be driven 71 times to conclude tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix. The last race of a very difficult season for the Scuderia, although Alonso underlined in an interview on Thursday: "I will remember it as a not bad season overall from a personal point of view and how the team approached this season. The team has been stronger and I feel that with a competitive car next year we can be very strong and fighting for the world championship". And that is what the entire team is working on in Maranello: handing over an improved car to our drivers for 2012.
Although before we think about this we have to conclude this Championship with the best possible result. This is what Fernando wants, starting also here from fifth position. This is what Felipe wants, who will start from sixth position on the clean side of the track. It's not only Felipe's home race, where he won twice during his career, it's also his 100th race in Formula 1 with the colours of the Prancing Horse. This is why the entire Scuderia celebrated Felipe in the afternoon at the box together with his family and close friends with an enormous cake. The present we made him? A part of the Ferrari 150° Italia's bodywork signed by everybody present.
There are no more titles to be won in tomorrow's race and the performance of our car - whose development has been stopped several months ago to concentrate resources and energy on next year's project, which has been improved incessantly over several months - doesn't give us much hope to fight with equal forces with the cars on the first rows of the starting grid. Nevertheless we will be concentrated and determined. Also because the forecast says rain for tomorrow. And we know that with a wet track it will be uncertain and spectacular. Even more so here in Interlagos.
The two weeks since the last Grand Prix - where Fernando gained a place on the podium on the brand-new circuit in New Delhi - were extremely intense. We worked very hard and tried to improve the performance of our Ferrari 150° Italia, also testing some new components with the next season already in sight.
The moment we arrived in Abu Dhabi we were immediately fascinated by this very special atmosphere of this place. It’s the third time we’re racing here on this circuit, but it’s still not easy to get used to the feelings this futuristic track prompts.
And then there’s also the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which opened last year. We had the possibility to visit the theme park and spend a couple of hours away from the track. A track, which doesn’t really give us the satisfaction we’d hoped for: this is already the 18th and penultimate race of the season and for us from the Scuderia there are not many more presents left this year.
Everybody in the team is still extremely concentrated and we want to conclude the season as good as possible, gaining some good positions and points to encourage us all for the development of the single-seater for 2012. Unfortunately today’s qualifying confirmed the negative trend with us third, behind Red Bull and McLaren, two fierce competitors, who don’t make any presents whatsoever. Our two drivers did very well and they gave it their all, despite a not really encouraging result. Fernando had a respectable Q3, where he tried to use the entire potential of his car, but he couldn’t get beyond fifth position on tomorrow’s grid. Felipe, after a good qualifying, gained sixth position, without being able to use the new front wing.
We know that tomorrow won’t be easy to gain a place on the podium, but we’re going to try, because we’re convinced that we still can have our say, trying to satisfy the fans of the Prancing Horse, who always following us with great enthusiasm.