Sebastien Buemi: "After Budapest, I returned home to Monaco to 'decompress' as they say in French! I spent the first two days of the break giving a lot of thought to how the season had gone so far, specifically, what I could do better in the upcoming final seven grands prix. From there, still in work mode, I travelled to Faenza to meet up with the engineers before the factory shut-down, to debrief fully on the last race, analysing the good and the bad and which direction to go in once the racing resumes.
"After that, it was back to Monaco for a couple of days of training to get some fitness 'in the bank' for Spa, although I also managed some beach time, relaxing in the sun. The racing might have stopped, but there was still quite a lot of travelling, as my next destination was my home country, Switzerland, where I was attending a friend's wedding. A short trip after that, as I went to Austria where, along with Jaime, we underwent an evaluation of our physical condition, as well as being put through some mental aptitude tests. I spent the week there and the trip coincided with the Champions League football match between Red Bull Salzburg and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
"Unfortunately, the Red Bull team lost and they will have a tough time when they play the Away leg next week. I was surprised to find that even though it's the middle of August, Red Bull's ice-hockey team was playing a pre-season tournament and Jaime and I were introduced to the crowd on the ice. Finally, I went back home to Monaco for a mixture of training and relaxing, as you can see from the photo of me surfing, because it's always useful to do some watersports before Spa!
"I think the break was a good thing, even if I like racing so much that the more I drive the happier I am. Having a rest before the final push of the last seven races is a sensible idea. As for the Belgian weekend, of course I am looking forward to it: last year, our lap times were pretty competitive at Spa. My aim is to try and score points and everyone in the team is very motivated to get the most out of this weekend and start the final leg of the season with a strong performance."
Jaime Alguersuari: "After the last grand prix in Hungary, I went home to Barcelona and didn't do very much apart from some training, but then the holiday really began as I spent the next four days in Ibiza, which is where our family usually head for in the Summer. I DJ' ed while I was there and had a good time, totally disconnecting from racing for a short while, spending time with friends and family. At the end of that week, I headed to Fuschl in Austria, where Red Bull puts its athletes through a physical and psychological evaluation.
I spent four days there with Sebastien and it went well, in that my fitness level was the same as it had been pre-season, when you are normally in the best condition, before all the race travel and other commitments tend to interrupt your training programme. From Austria I flew to Italy and although driving a Formula 1 car is off limits, I did manage to get some driving in, with a karting session and since then I have stayed in Italy, travelling to Faenza where it was nice to spend time with some team personnel away from the working environment.
Along with my girlfriend, we took the opportunity to do the tourist thing in Italy, visiting Lake Garda, where we tried a thermal spa and the cities of Florence and Verona. I will now be staying in Faenza with the team and travelling down to Spa with them on Wednesday. I can't wait! Even if we have had three weeks without a race, I have thought about Formula 1 every single day - it's impossible not to.
"As for Spa, I think the track should suit my driving style perfectly, as it consists mainly of high speed corners, which I really like. We will be having our own battle in our part of the pack and if our closest rivals have tended to look stronger than us in medium to high downforce configuration, I am hoping that the lower aero downforce levels required at Spa might see us run more competitively. This is a circuit where you can make a difference as a driver and anything can happen here, so I'm hoping that a points finish will be on the cards come the end of Sunday afternoon."