The mid season break was very much needed! I've been running on adrenaline since Melbourne, and with races, tests, training and promotions I've hardly had time to take stock of the season to date! So it was time for a short holiday in Tuscany,...
The mid season break was very much needed! I've been running on adrenaline since Melbourne, and with races, tests, training and promotions I've hardly had time to take stock of the season to date!
So it was time for a short holiday in Tuscany, Italy. Some friends joined us and we spent some very relaxing days on the beach, playing tennis, jet ski-ing and generally enjoying life with no mobile phones or e-mail, the only contact to motor racing was what I watched on TV, well I couldn't go 2 complete weeks without racing, could I?
Then it was back to work at our team doctor's training facility in Viareggio, with a big fitness push for the last races of the year, especially Budapest which is one of the harder races with high temperatures, lots of corners and no straights, bumps and a slippery surface to add a little spice to the track.
I concentrated on upper body work, specifically my neck and shoulders, and some cardio vascular. When I train here it is usually for about two hours in the gym in the morning and then about another hour to hour and a half outside in the afternoon, running, cycling or another sport. I prefer to vary the training as much as possible to avoid getting bored so we also played squash and tennis.
Budapest was the next stop on the F1 tour. The weather was forecast to be hot but the city was suffering from the prospect of flooding. It is a beautiful city and generally is one of the races that the fans love, with close viewing, closer races, and a good nightlife.
On Friday we struggled badly to get a balance, the car was very nervous and had a lot of oversteer. However, by Saturday we had made a lot of changes and this resulted in an easier, less nervous car and changed it to understeer, which increased through qualifying, slightly frustrating when you make a change to help a problem and find that it is worse but this seemed to afflict most teams. For Mika and I 17th and 18th was the result, disappointing but I suppose we have to remember it is year one.
For the race it was important to finish, so we kept it clean at the start but still had to muscle past a couple of cars, at the end of lap 1 I was 0.5 seconds behind Pedro de la Rosa, after a lot of hard racing, two pit-stops and 77 laps I was still 0.5 seconds behind Pedro, passing is always a problem here! After a series of reliability problems in races it was good to get two Toyotas to the finish and we now go to Spa in two weeks and I am looking forward to moving up the grid.