Pedal to the metal
This is the one that I have been waiting for. The weekend of Spa is always a certain highlight of the season for me. Usually I've got a positive result from the Belgium Grand Prix. What has happened there before doesn't help me right now, but, it doesn't make any harm, either.
Obviously we need that positive result, indeed. The previous race was the one to forget as quickly as possible. It's never nice to be in the middle of all kinds of negative stories, but it just happens. It's not the first time in my life and you just have to live with it.
Back in the old days at school it was not that nice to bring home a bad grade from an exam. You only could try to do better the next time. That's how to react, still.
Since Valencia I've been training a lot in Switzerland and last week we had also a test in Monza. The test seemed to go well. We tried some new parts and I feel the package improved. Having said that, you can only really judge the performance on Saturday at Spa as nobody knows the fuel levels of your competitors in testing. But it is going to be very close. That won't be changed in one test.
For me there has been only good memories from Spa. Obviously it would be great to win it the fourth time in a row. I have not won for a few months and it would
help get my championship challenge back on track after that disappointment of the last race.
During the last season we found a good balance that suited my driving style in the middle of the year and, after that, I won many races in the second half of the year.
Obviously I need to try and find a balance again because with 13 points behind I must start to close the gap. It's not impossible. I was 17 points behind with two races to go last year.
At Spa I took pole position last year and hopefully I can do the same this year. As we've seen so many times this year, a good grid position is extremely important. It will be very decisive at Spa, too. Everybody knows it.
It's so crucial to have an aerodynamically good car to tackle those fast corners. It's a long lap and to get the time right you really need to maintain the best rythym. But so much depends on the qualifying result. Following another car in a race is very difficult. So I need to find a decent set-up on Friday and Saturday and have a solid qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, it's great to go racing to Spa. You cannot get the same kind of a 'pedal to the metal' feeling anywhere else. It's great to race with modern racing car in a proper circuit with has such a marvellous tradion.
This is going to be a little bit different weekend for me. In Finland they will publish a stamp that was designed in honor of my world championship last year.
I really value this highly. As a small boy sending a card I would never have imagined that one day I would have a stamp with my own picture on it.
For sure, it's nice to show it to the grandkids in years to come.