I feel a bit sad when I have to look back over the Spanish Grand Prix. The weekend had actually started well with Williams Martini Racing completing all that we wanted to do and having a real hope of being able to deliver a good race.
But unfortunately my race was ultimately decided by contact immediately after the start at Turn 2. I don’t know what Fernando Alonso was trying to do at that point, but I did not have the chance to avoid a collision with his car.
The impact left me with a puncture and, although I was able to get back to the pits, it meant my race was pretty much over after two corners – at a time when I was running in front of Sergio Perez, who went on to finish fourth.
At the end of the first lap, I returned to the pits and for safety reasons the team replaced the front wing, and of course the tyre that had come into contact with Alonso. By the time I got back out on the track I was more than one minute behind the lead group. After a while I was lapped – which further complicated the situation.
Without the incident, I’m sure I would have had the chance to make a good race and, in the worst case scenario, I would have got fourth. My Friday long run was better than that of Force India, but once I had dropped back into the pack I was not able to show how quick I could run.
Then, in the middle of it all, came the episode with Stoffel Vandoorne. Looking at the way he went in to the first corner and came at me, I think he hadn’t seen me. Luckily though my car didn’t suffer any damage, and I was able to keep going to take the chequered flag in 13th place.
It was a real shame though because we had a very good opportunity to pick up important points – as we saw a Mercedes, a Ferrari and a Red Bull all retire.
In Russia I had lost out because of a late puncture, and then two weeks later my race at Barcelona lasted just a few hundred metres. It seems I am having a run of bad luck – so I hope that things will improve on this front for the next race at Monaco.
The Monte Carlo weekend is always a special one for me. After the Brazilian GP, it is my second home race – and is the only where I get to sleep in my bed and go to the circuit on foot.
In recent years Williams had not had a car that has been very well suited to the track, and it has been one of our more difficult races in the calendar. But this year, judging by how strong our car has been everywhere, I am hoping we can deliver a step forward.
I am curious to see what the first findings will tell us. Perhaps too there will be some technical novelties arriving for the Monaco weekend, after the updates that we brought to Barcelona worked well there and confirmed that the team is working in the right direction.
The Monaco week is a very long one. Track action gets underway on Thursday, and the sponsor and media commitments start on Tuesday. But there are some fun events too – which start with the traditional football match between the F1 drivers and a team made up of Prince Albert’s friends. It is an event that my son has been waiting all year for!
So you will understand that I cannot let him down, as this year I will be taking Felipinho and a group of friends. Victory will be assured!