It was a really special moment for me to be on the podium in Formula 1 for the first time, and it was great to be fighting right at the front. Everything came together and it worked out perfectly. It was the race immediately after my accident at Hockenheim so maybe it surprised some people to see me being so competitive. But the truth was that Hockenheim was a turning point because we got the car really working well for me. After that, the fantastic result in Budapest was the start of a great run in the second half of the season.
What did it mean to finish on the podium for the first time in F1?
I really enjoyed that feeling; it's what I have worked so hard to achieve all through my career. When I left Formula 1 at the end of 2004 I knew it would be really tough to get back but I never gave up and I gave everything in Champ Cars and GP2 to get my chance. But getting back to Formula 1 was just the beginning and it was a great moment to stand on the podium in Hungary after finishing second. That gave me a lot of satisfaction and I really liked the feeling. I am determined to do it many more times!
Was that your best performance in Formula 1 so far?
It was the best result of last year but I was also very proud of my performances in several races, particularly finishing fourth in Singapore and Canada and some other races where the result maybe wasn't as good but I drove really well. This year I was on the podium again in Malaysia so that is one of my best performances as well; it's always a highlight when you finish on the podium.
Is your first podium more special than the ones that follow?
In a way it is more special when you are the podium for the first time because it is a unique experience and you have nothing to compare it to. But it's always a great feeling when you have performed to the maximum and achieved a really strong result. My third place in Malaysia also felt great because it was the result of a fantastic team effort and I'm sure my next podium will be pretty special too.
Are you generally successful in Hungary? Why?
I have always been quick there, right from my first visit in 2004 when I was a Formula 1 test driver taking part in Friday practice. I was on the pace from the first session and that continued when I went back in GP2. I was second and fifth in 2006 but I was really unlucky the next year because I qualified on pole but there was a wheel problem at my pit stop which ruined my race, then in the sprint race I was fighting for the podium before a mechanical problem. So in terms of results Budapest has been average for me but I have always been competitive there. It's just a fun circuit which is quite challenging for a driver; it feels like a kart track when you are driving a Formula 1 car there.
Will the Hungaroring suit the TF109?
I hope so! It's quite tricky to judge before Friday practice. We have made a big improvement on slower corners in the past few races which is quite encouraging going into the Hungarian Grand Prix. It is usually pretty hot in Hungary as well and our car has good cooling efficiency so that should work in our favour. So I am reasonably optimistic our car will go well but we'll have to wait and see.
What are your goals for the 2009 season?
My goal this season is simply to score as many points and podiums as possible. I don't have specific goals in the way I did for 2008, when I wanted to get 20 points and finish in the top 10 of the Drivers' Championship. My second place in Hungary started the ball rolling and I achieved both my targets. This year I just want to be as quick as possible from race to race, scoring as many points as I can. So far we have had some ups and downs but it is mainly positive.