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Well our weekend in Monza couldn't really have gone much better. The car felt good from free practice, I set the quickest time of the session which was a great confidence boost and a good sign for the rest of the weekend.
Not much needed changing on the car before qualifying, it felt pretty good. We knew we had good pace going into the first qualifying session, and I got a tow down the straight which clinched pole. Amazingly, I repeated that result in second qualifying which was the icing on the cake. Everything worked beautifully. The hard work of the mechanics and engineers really paid off.
Monza is a unique circuit and pole doesn't necessarily translate to a race win as there are so many opportunities to overtake. However, in the first race, the Carlin cars were clearly the quickest cars out there, and after a few close laps, I was able to build up enough of a gap to control the race and take my first victory since Oulton Park.
The second race was equally competitive; I was leading from my team mate Mario and Marko Asmer in third. After Mario had to pit to take a drive through penalty Asmer closed up on me and with every lap he was able to get a tow closer to me. He managed to pass me, but I knew it was still close and that it was still his or my race, depending on who entered the last corner first. Throughout the rest of the race, he was very aggressive and I believe overstepped the line, he weaved to break the tow and stop me getting past and pushed me onto the grass at the first corner a couple of times.
Monza can be a dangerous track and has to be respected, so I was a bit disappointed with Asmer's driving standards. However, generally it was a good race, and I know that I raced well and cleanly to finish second.
It was an incredible weekend and the championship points are a bonus. Standing on the podium at Monza is an amazing experience. To stand up there with the Carlin boys in the pit lane below was fantastic; they really deserved the great results this weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to provide more of the same at Brands Hatch in three weeks time!