The Italian GP weekend is a bit of a frustrating one, because you want to spend the whole weekend eating pizza and pasta but you can't as we're there to race! A part from this, I have to say it's an amazing weekend and one of the things I enjoy the most is the Italian fans and their passion. I seem to have many supporters there – I even have an Italian fan club to whom I send my regards to from here! – and it's great to feel so much SUPPORT!
Monza is a circuit that I really like – I wouldn't say it's my absolute favourite, but it's up there in my top 5... It's the TEMPLE of speed after all! I haven't been able to score a good result there yet during my F1 career, but I'm confident it will happen one day...sooner or later!
The ENTRANCE to the Paddock is special and different to other circuits, as it's absolutely full of passionate fans who wait for the drivers to arrive each morning. This means that before entering the Paddock we stop to sign autographs for 5 or 10 minutes, which gives me a good boost to start the day!
The Italian GP weekend always coincides with my BIRTHDAY – this time it will be on the Friday... It's a good way to spend this special day, doing what I love to do and celebrating it with the team, which is like a second family as we spend so much time together!
This race marks the end of the European season – after this the FLYAWAYS start again... I really enjoy racing in Europe, as we go to historic tracks and the fans are always very passionate, but travelling to other countries around the world is something I also like to do very much, as you get to see different cultures. One of my favourite race weekends outside Europe is Japan and I can't wait to go back there!
Pasta, pizza, pomodori, mozzarella... I really love Italian food, it's just amazing and every time I travel there I make sure I enjoy some of their fantastic dishes! I'm good at COOKING a few easy recipes too!
I grew up in Italy and it's a country I know well; it's like a second home for me. I lived in ROME for some time when I was younger and I'm fluent in Italian, so I always enjoy going back!
This race has been on the F1 calendar for many years and it's a legendary circuit: it has very long straights, which means we drive at very high speeds, and it's always an interesting race. The only thing I don't like is the fact that the Parabolica doesn't have a GRAVEL TRAP any more... It's now all asphalt, so it's not such of a challenge and a compromise if you go off track; in the past it could end up meaning that your race was over!
I have very good MEMORIES from Monza, as I won a few times while racing in junior categories, so it's always special to go back there every year. Having said that, I also have a negative memory from 2014, when my brake disk broke at Turn 1 compromising my race to finish in P11: Starting from the last position on the grid I was able to make my way up, but not enough to score points... A big shame, as we were doing a very good race! I hope to create more good MEMORIES this year!
After the race weekend I fly straight to the UK for a SIMULATOR session. We do plenty of these during the year – this will be my 14th of the year – and it's always a very useful way of preparing for races.