The 2012 Formula 1 season is heading inexorably towards the finish line and, of course, we are keeping an eye on the world championship standings. It is still mathematically possible that with a 63-point deficit I might still be in the fight for the drivers’ title, but it’s not really realistic to be honest. Still, crazier things have happened in the long history of Formula 1, for sure!
At any rate, I’m focusing on the constructors’ championship, which is extremely important to the team. We are 41 points behind Red Bull Racing in these rankings, and so this particular title race is far from being decided. If Lewis and I can both achieve a solid result and our rivals suffer a spot of bad luck, then the tables will be quickly turned.
Of course, scrapping with a reinvigorated defending champion will be incredibly tricky – Sebastian Vettel’s speed at Suzuka was incredible. Red Bull has always been quick at Suzuka in the past, but I was still surprised to see how fast they were this year. Sebastian certainly did not have an easy time out there in the lead, but nevertheless, Red Bull was incredibly quick.
The Korean International Circuit is a challenging circuit. One minute you’ve found your rhythm over the course of a lap, only to be taken by surprise by a change in direction, since this circuit does not have the same flow as some of the newer tracks, like the Buddh International Circuit in India or Istanbul Park in Turkey. Overtaking is not easy here, but hopefully, it will be possible using DRS. It is a very unusual circuit in that respect.
The straights are so long that you think that overtaking will be a piece of cake, but it’s not. It is so tough. The first sector consists of long straights, but the final sector is much slower – it almost feels like a street circuit. In actual fact, people even once thought of turning it into a street circuit! Only there’s no city. I’ve heard, though, that construction should start next year. I’ll be very interested to see what happens!
I didn’t have a great race at the first Korean Grand Prix in 2010, but last year’s went much better – even though I did not finish on the podium. Our pace has been consistently strong in the last few races, which gives me confidence that I can achieve my best result at this track on Sunday.
We also have two new features for the car here. We had one of them in Japan, but could not get it to work properly. The second part was not ready in time for the Grand Prix at Suzuka. The updates are barely worth half a second, but should nevertheless help, particularly in view of the fact that one or two tenths can make a big difference this year.