Things are really heating up in the countdown to the end of the season; the two races in Japan and Korea take place within the space of just one week, and then there are another two fixtures back to back, India and Abu Dhabi, and yet again with the new race in the USA and the season finale in Brazil.
That suits me very well this time round, since I get the chance to achieve a better result only seven days after the last grand prix at Suzuka in Japan, where my race was unfortunately over all too soon. Romain Grosjean was the cause. He spun into Mark Webber’s car going into the second turn, which ultimately led to my accident.
However, I’m optimistic about the race weekend in Korea. I believe that the recent updates should suit our car better at this track and I hope that we can achieve a further improvement in performance. At any rate, this race weekend got off to a promising start – our performance here in Korea already looks better than in Japan.
We have got some minor improvements for the Silver Arrow in hand, but nothing great. The parts are functioning as expected, however, which confirms my positive feeling about the weekend.
Clearly, the expectations of the fans and media are great, but we have high hopes and intend retaining our fifth place in the constructors’ championship to the close of the season. So I hope that things go better here than in Suzuka and that we finally get some decent points.
I understand that the current situation is regarded as critical in certain quarters – in the last few races we have not achieved the kind of results expected from us as a Mercedes works team and we ourselves have been disappointed in failing to meet our targets. We are going through a rough patch, but we’ll come through it and achieve better results again.
I have every confidence in our team. The team’s expertise is phenomenal. Since last year, we’ve brought on board a lot of new, good people who are coming up with innovative ideas and moving our technical department forwards. But of course, it will be some time before the newcomers are fully trained and success returns.
Some of those now in charge only joined the team in the winter and consequently had little impact on the original development of this year’s car. But I am aware of the progress that we are currently making in the factory, even if the results have yet to be seen on the car itself.
However, I am optimistic that we will successfully progress the new car for the 2013 season, since things are looking pretty good as far as we can judge at this early stage. We seem to be on the right track and have learned from mistakes made in 2011 and 2012.