2011, July 11

British Grand Prix

Week-end in Silverstone is one to forget as a nightmare. The weather was typically English – rain stopped and then started again. Then, exhaust system and blown diffuser regulations were changed, that also affected our performance.

It became clear on Friday already, that the car is not fast enough on damp track. Rear wheels lacked grip, and we could hardly fought even for top-15 positions. At dry conditions situation improved, we went forward with setup work, but it was more rain during qualifying and Sebastian Vettel disturbed my lap a bit. Finally I couldn’t get into Q3.

On Sunday my start was good, but grip was not there again, so I was helpless while trying to resist and other guys began to overtake me just like my car simply was not there.

We always had good pace on dump truck before, that’s why situation in Silverstone disappointed us even more. Later, when surface dried up, I was 1 second faster, than cars around us. But the DRS section was situated not it the right place to be. I was very close to Adrian Sutil but just could not get past and came home 12th.

It is one more wake-up call for us, and we have to pay attention to it. We can finally lose the touch with leaders If will have less and less speed each time. Of course, there is no time for panic, we need to keep our heads cool and continue to work hard. The team understands situation well, while last event brought us a lot of useful data. We know where the problem is and what to do with it at the moment.  The main target for our engineers is to find more downforce at the rear.

The last but not the least – I’m really looking forward to visit Sochi next week-end and participate in demo runs with Lotus Renault GP. I always like going to my home Russia. There are a lot of people who can’t visit Grand Prix, now they have a chance to see what Formula One is. I’m glad to demonstrate our car at “Formula Sochi” festival, to speak with fans and give some autographs. No doubts, it will be cool event.