Every spring it feels the same to start a new season. Nevertheless how the tests have gone, you feel fresh and excited to race again after the long winter break.
Obviously, for me it's not that new experience anymore after spending more than a decade in this business. But this time we are heading for brand new power units with the brand new regulations. So it's a kind of step into unknown territory for everyone.
My winter break felt shorter than usual. It was only a matter of getting healed and getting fit. I had to stop last season in the beginning of November to have my back fixed with a operation in France. Everything went well and I was able to start training normally in time.
To start the new season in a new team gives you always some kind of extra motivation and, for me, obviously going back to Ferrari means a lot as a racing driver.
Visiting the factory in Maranello has showed me how big a push there is to get us back to the very top again. There are still some familiar faces from my previous period with Ferrari, and some new ones as well. That is how it goes in every top team. People come and go.
The main focus now is to start developing the car to work better and better with the all the new systems that there are to use. The preseason testing was not that good for me. I could not drive as many miles as we planned, while with these new parts every small issue takes more time to be fixed compared to last year.
But the good thing was that there were no major issues with the car. It's impossible to say where we are before the first qualifying session, but this weekend will tell more. We try our very best and hopefully we are able to finish the race with a good result.