Are you happy with sixth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix?
I am happy with the result in the end, especially considering I started from 13th. To make up seven places at the Hungaroring is not easy, so finishing in sixth is an encouraging result. It was nice to be back in the top six after a few tricky races and this was actually my best result since the podium in Malaysia.
Was it a surprise to finish the race in the top six?
On Saturday I could not have predicted a result like that but the team, like me and Jarno, never give up and they worked really hard to give us both the chance to finish in the points. Our strategy was excellent but a lot of credit goes to my pit crew as well because they did a great job all through the weekend, especially on Saturday when we needed to make some repairs very quickly. Then in the race my pit stops were perfect, which really makes a difference when you are in a close fight for position. Overall it was good team work from everyone and we got our reward.
Realistically, was sixth the best possible result?
We could definitely have been fifth because we had really strong pace throughout the race and I finished directly behind Heikki Kovalainen. However, as you always expect at this track, there was some traffic and that cost me time at the end of my first two stints. Kimi (Raikkonen) came out of the pits just ahead of me both times and, as he had more fuel than I did, he was slower than me. I was able to go quite a bit quicker but overtaking at the Hungaroring is tricky and I just couldn't get past. Without that, I am sure I would have been able to get Kovalainen for fifth. I put in some really quick laps towards the end, including the fifth fastest race lap, and caught him but it wasn't possible to pass.
How did you make up so many positions in the race?
As everyone knows, it is almost impossible to overtake in Hungary so strategy is very important if you are to make up positions. I got a pretty good start and overtook (Rubens) Barrichello so I was 12th at the end of the first lap which meant it was difficult to think about the top six at that point. But we were confident our strategy would help us gain positions during the long first stint; I just had to keep fighting and setting good lap times.
How did the car feel during that first stint?
Obviously we were really heavy at the start of the race and, just like at the Nürburgring, I was one of the last guys to make my first pit stop. It was tricky to start with but I found a good rhythm and my lap times were strong, even though I was heavier than the cars around me. The super soft Bridgestone tyres felt really good and didn't lose performance, even though I did a lot of laps on them, so the car felt spot on.
Are you happy to have a break now? What will you do?
It will be nice to have some time off but I am a racing driver and I love to drive Formula 1 cars, so I would never say I am happy to be away from them! The main priority for me during the summer break is to just relax and spend time with my family and friends; normally I have very little time to do that. It will be a relief to be away from airports for a little while and I will make sure I will get plenty of rest so I am refreshed for the last part of the season. But I won't be just putting my feet up the whole time. I have some fitness work planned with my physio so I will stay in good shape and I'll be really keen to get back in the car for Valencia.
What are your thoughts ahead of the European Grand Prix?
We were strong last year in Valencia so I am hopeful we will be again this time too. Qualifying is an area I want to improve on because that has been a bit frustrating for me in the last couple of races. If we can get the maximum out of the car and tyres over one lap in qualifying, I am sure we will be competitive and that gives us the best chance for the race. As always, my goal is to score as many points as possible; hopefully I can finish higher than my seventh place there last year.
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