How was the German Grand Prix weekend for you?
Cold! The weather was more like a winter test, with very low track temperatures and some rain, which didn't help us. Our car works best in warmer conditions so when we saw the weather forecast for the weekend we knew it wouldn't be ideal for us, and that's how it turned out.
Practice seemed to go well, so what were your expectations going into qualifying?
I was quite happy with our performance in practice and we were in the top six in both Friday sessions which gave me confidence. Of course, it's difficult to know exactly where you stand after Friday because you don't know what programs the other guys are running but I was quite hopeful. Apart from Monaco I have always been in Q3 this year and fighting for the top six, so that was the target again.
In the end the conditions were very unfortunate for us and a few minutes of rain ruined qualifying for me. There was no problem getting through Q1 but the weather in Q2 was really changeable and in those conditions it is always a risk when it comes to tire choice. There was a very small window towards the end of Q2 when it wasn't raining and the track was in reasonable condition but we were just a little bit too late going on to the option tires and it started raining again.
What were your thoughts going into the race?
First of all we needed to understand what the weather would do. On Saturday it looked like we would have a wet race but the rain came on Sunday morning and the conditions for the race were okay, even though it was still quite cold. From 14th it is hard to have high expectations but we know our car is fundamentally competitive so I was determined to fight as hard as possible and try to make up some places. We were confident in our strategy and we never give up.
Can you explain what happened on the first lap?
As usual at the NÃ¼rburgring the first few corners were really tight and there was a lot of fighting for position. When you start in the middle of the field it is always pretty hectic but everything was fine until another car flew past me and bounced over my front wing. I could feel there was something wrong with my wing, even though I couldn't actually see the damaged part, so we had to pit for a new one.
How was your race after that?
Obviously it is extremely difficult to get anything from a race when you have to make an extra pit stop. Immediately after the pit stop I was quite quick and if you look at the lap times, mine were actually as fast as, or faster than, several of the cars in the top six so I caught up with the back of the field really quickly. But then I was stuck in traffic for the whole race which gave me no chance to get a decent result.
How do you assess the ultimate pace of the TF109 in the race?
It's hard to compare properly with the top cars because I was stuck in traffic for so long but I did have a few clear laps towards the end of the race, when I was on the medium tires, and I put in some quick times. In the end I recorded the second fastest lap of the race which suggests we could have had a much better result if circumstances had worked out differently. But there is no point looking back on things; I always look forward and my focus now is to get a much more representative result in Hungary.
So what are your thoughts ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix?
Well, we can expect the temperatures to be a lot better than the NÃ¼rburgring, that's for sure. That should suit us well because generally our car is more competitive in warm weather. In the past we have done well in Hungary but every year is different so I don't know exactly what to expect. We are certainly pushing as hard as we can and the car has a lot more potential than the results in NÃ¼rburgring showed.