“BRAZIL WILL BE A VERY SPECIAL RACE”
Vitaly reflects on a season of mixed fortunes, and looks forward to the season finale at Interlagos.
What conclusions can you draw from Abu Dhabi?
I did like the track but the trend of slower tracks not clicking with the R31 has repeated itself. To qualify P12 was almost the maximum we could have done and we were satisfied with that result. We also tried out a number of things in preparation for next year, so this should be taken into consideration as well. The race was quite difficult for us because from the beginning my DRS failed; it was quite a frustrating race because the pace was just not good enough to be able to overtake other cars and to score points. We knew that the Yas Marina circuit may not favour our car but still, that was not what we were looking for.
You seemed very upset after the race in Abu Dhabi…
Let’s just say that I acted a bit stupidly. I was very disappointed, very tired, I had to answer a lot of questions and somehow I didn’t handle it correctly. But I had a chat with the team later on and everything is now OK.
This is the last race of your second season with LRGP – what are your assessments of the year?
It started very positively for me. Finishing third in Australia was a big boost for both me and the team. After that I was fighting high up the grid in pretty much every race and we scored a lot of points – not nearly enough though. Next year I want to achieve a lot more, and we are already working hard to take another step forward. We have all been disappointed with our performance this year but we understood the tyres and tactics, and I believe we will be much more confident going into the next campaign.
When you think you are on the limit you try to push a little further
What are your thoughts for Brazil?
It is not easy to set up the car for Interlagos. When you think you are on the limit you try to push a little further, especially at turns six and seven which are very, very special. The challenge here is to set up the car well and to have the car fully prepared for Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes it rains, like it did last year when the visibility and aquaplaning were incredible, but the track is still safe enough to drive well on. People just love coming here. Interlagos is a very lively track due to the nature of the straight with the tiny bends which givee you a chance to find the slipstream. Brazil will be a very special race.
What are your plans for 2012?
I am here to achieve and to reach my targets. Generally, I feel good. Throughout my first two years, I have always felt I’ve been improving but maybe less so than at the very beginning. I am still learning how to work with the team and how to get the car to work for me. I am still not yet at 100 percent, but it is difficult to ever be. First things first, I must give Brazil my best shot. Then, I will look at next year.