2011, June 19

Canadian Grand Prix

I couldn’t score at two previous races, so at Montreal my aim was to avoid any mistakes and to bring the car home. That’s why we tried to avoid taking many risks. I managed to score 10 important points and I rose up to 7th place in drivers’ championship.

To be honest, I think that it was possible to achieve a better result. But we chose a conservative strategy and maybe lost a little with it. Yes, we could have changed to intermediates and later to slicks a few laps earlier. But there was a risk of making a mistake on the drying circuit and we could have lost it all completely.

After first stint, when I climbed to 5th place, the race was stopped by the red flag. I think it was absolutely the right decision from stewards, because there were deep ponds of water at every straight and corner. We had to wait for a very long time. I felt pressure and some tiredness, but tried to keep concentration and even ate something. Not the easiest situation, but we managed it both physically and mentally. I didn’t want the race to be completely over and was eagerly waiting for the restart.

My setup was more suitable for dry weather, so I focused mostly on defense, particularly at every restart. On the final laps my pace became really strong, but there was one very dangerous situation: when a circuit marshal came from behind the barrier to clear some debris on the track. He fell on the ground almost in front of my car. I was forced to brake heavily and almost stopped.

After the finish, I went to the race stewards, described that situation to them and said it was very dangerous. It was unsafe to let people work on track when the queue was not yet formed behind safety car. At such moments no driver wanted to lose time, so we were all still driving quite fast, although within the limits.

I found that episode extremely dangerous for me and for that guy. Moreover, in a case like this, I’d expected to see double yellow flags at previous marshaling posts, which would tell you to be particularly careful. But I only saw single yellow… I tried to convey my worries to race stewards, when spoke to them after the finish.

Finally I came home 5th, which is a satisfying result. The most important thing is that didn’t make any mistake during the entire weekend and found good solutions for recent technical problem.

Next stop is Valencia – street, but rather fast circuit. I had a lot of success there in GP2, but my debut Formula One race was not so strong. But it was just a first year – now we know the track much better and will fight for a good result.