Did the Italian Grand Prix weekend go as expected for you? In the end it was the kind of tough weekend we were expecting. We knew our car was not particularly suited to Monza so we didn't expect to repeat our form in Spa, when I was on the front...
Did the Italian Grand Prix weekend go as expected for you?
In the end it was the kind of tough weekend we were expecting. We knew our car was not particularly suited to Monza so we didn't expect to repeat our form in Spa, when I was on the front row of the grid. Obviously it was disappointing not to score points because that was our target and if things had gone differently that was possible.
How was your qualifying lap?
I was really happy with my lap in second qualifying; it was very good. We knew it would be very difficult to make it into the top 10 and I was really, really close to doing that. The car felt pretty good and I preferred the medium compound tyres over one lap. I did my fastest lap of all on those and then had a stint on the soft tyres at the end of the session. It just wasn't possible to do the same lap time and we didn't quite have the speed to make it into the top 10, unfortunately.
How did you find the new kerbs at the chicanes?
They are a good compromise because the situation is clearer now and having higher kerbs means you can't really jump over them. They force you to drive around the whole corner which is fine because then it is clear for everyone. The only downside is that if you do have a problem, or you run wide, the kerbs are more extreme so there is a greater chance of damaging the car. But I'm happy with the changes.
The first corner of the race was quite hectic; what did it look like from your point of view?
The first corner is always really tight at Monza and that happened again this year. Quite often you have an incident at the chicane because there are a lot of cars fighting for very little space but everyone made it through safely this time. In the midfield it is particularly close and I lost a position; from then on I was stuck in traffic.
How did the traffic affect your race?
For most of the race I was behind Kazuki Nakajima but I felt I was faster than him. It wasn't enough to overtake though so I lost quite a bit of time and that cost me any chance to fight for the points. Nick Heidfeld started from behind me on the grid and he finished in the points so that shows it was possible if things had turned out differently.
What happened with Kazuki at the first chicane late in the race?
We were getting towards the end of the race and it was pretty dull for me to be honest. I decided I had nothing to lose so if I saw any gap I would take it and I pushed really hard on the previous lap to close up. Then under braking at the end of the start-finish straight I saw a chance and just went for it. I braked really, really late and got up the inside; it almost worked but I just ran out of room and hit the kerbs. It was a pity but at least I had a go and it created a bit of excitement.
What about your battles with Timo?
I had two little fights with Timo, which were great fun. The first was when he came out of the pits directly next to me and we went into the first chicane together. We are team-mates so we were both very careful to avoid each other but that didn't stop us having a little battle and I got ahead. Then later, after the incident with Nakajima, we had another fight. After I hit the kerbs I rejoined just in front of Timo and we were battling for position going to the Lesmo corners; I was on the outside so I had a disadvantage but I kept attacking. I just ran out of track so went across the gravel and lost a couple of places. We were fighting hard and fair. Neither of us had much to lose as it doesn't make much difference if you are 11th or 14th so it was good to entertain the fans a bit. I think the guys in the team enjoyed it too.
What are your hopes for the next race, in Singapore?
Naturally I hope for a better result and our target will be to get back in the points. We were strong in Singapore last year and I would have been close to the podium if I had not had a technical problem. Still, Timo was in the top six so we had a good result. If anything, the field is even closer this year so it's harder to predict than ever but we will have some new parts on the car and I will be aiming for a strong result.