With my title challenge hanging by a thread after yet another engine failure at the last round, I needed a good race here. The main aim was to minimise the damage – Valencia has not been an especially happy hunting ground – and I was not confident of victory.
Practice and qualifying took place over a combination of wet and dry conditions, with my performances in the dry being far better than in the wet – indeed, Q3 crucially took place in the dry, and as a result, I was able to snatch pole position – vitally important on a tight street circuit.
I kept my fingers crossed for a dry race too – and luckily, it was indeed it proved to be so! I also managed to get the sort of start to a race that I usually don’t enjoy – I was leading into the first corner, and set about pulling away from the rest of the pack.
It was, in many respects, a boring race – I left the lead a couple of times at pit stops, but this was hardly a problem, as I regained it when the pack pitted, and would see out an uneventful race to win – closing the gap on Button to ten points – still a tad further away than I’d have liked, but it was certainly better than losing ground! My first win at Valencia was a good one, a controlled one, a pretty dominant one. More of the same would be nice!