“Zandvoort was a tough weekend. We made some progress with the car going into Qualifying, but in the race, I didn’t really have the pace to fight with our usual rivals, especially after dropping a place at the start and running in traffic. However, we learned some useful lessons, so I’m approaching this last race in Europe, our home race, in a positive frame of mind.
Monza is close to home for me, and for the rest of my career, this race will always be very, very special for me. There’s a different feeling going there, not just because it’s a home race for the whole team. The energy and the atmosphere there is incredible for everyone in the team. We must come to the track with the drive and mentality to go and chase points. Whether that will be easy or difficult with the car we have, there will always be some opportunities and we must maximise the potential we have. If we do a good job, we can transform that into good results. We have to stay positive and look ahead. With these new cars, we have seen since the start of the year that, in some situations, they make things easier and in others, it can be a bit tricky, but in general, overtaking has been easier, so I don’t see why that should not be the case in Monza. We will be able to get closer to the car in front but there will be less of a slipstream effect, it will be interesting to see how that works out. I won at Monza from tenth on the grid which shows that in Formula 1 anything is possible!”
“After the team had done a good job of improving the car in time for Qualifying in Zandvoort, things didn’t work out in the race and then I had a problem with the differential, that meant I had to stop. Now I’m just going to reset and focus on Monza, which is a special race for our team.
Last year I was unable to start the Italian Grand Prix, which means that I’ve never actually raced a real Formula 1 Grand Prix at Monza. So, I am very keen to be able to race at what is another home track for us, after Imola. I’m excited about it, I know the team is too, so we have good motivation going into this weekend. At the moment, I am not sure how the car will suit this track, but as usual we will be working to extract as much performance as possible out of it. Slipstreaming is an important factor on this fast track and with these new cars, the effect will be less than in the past. Because you can now follow another car more closely in the corners, overtaking should still be possible, but you could get stuck in a DRS train. I expect we will see everyone trying to get a tow in Qualifying. How we handle that tricky situation could be the key to Qualifying well. We’re obviously carrying a penalty into this race [due to five reprimands received], but I like this track, so let’s see how it goes.”