Abu Dhabi GP: Felipe Massa preview

Massa: "A really important race" Yas Island, 11 November -- Even though Felipe Massa is out of the race for this year's Drivers' title, he could still play a key role, by taking away points from Fernando Alonso's rivals, which would be a great...

Massa: "A really important race"

Yas Island, 11 November -- Even though Felipe Massa is out of the race for this year's Drivers' title, he could still play a key role, by taking away points from Fernando Alonso's rivals, which would be a great help to the Spanish Ferrari man "I hope we are going to have a competitive car to fight in what is going to be a really important race and more than that, finish in the front if possible," Felipe told the media at this afternoon's regular press meeting, held in the Yas Marina paddock. "Before thinking of that, tomorrow, my first task will be to learn the track, because of all the races I missed through my injury last year, Yas Marina was the only brand new track. I did a couple of days on the simulator back in Italy and I have now done some laps here on a bicycle."

Although the Scuderia was criticised after the German Grand Prix, when Massa let Alonso pass him in the final stages which ended with the Spaniard taking the win, now the media is suggesting that if the race order in Abu Dhabi in the final laps is Vettel, Webber, Alonso, then the German would move over, in a carbon copy of the Ferrari move in Hockenheim, for the Australian to take the win and the title, otherwise it goes to the Spaniard. "My personal opinion is that both Red Bull drivers will fight to the end as they both have a chance to be champion," reckoned Felipe. "But if it comes to the closing stages with Sebastian first and Mark second, then I am pretty sure they will swap places, because unless they do this, they are giving away the title to another team. But you need to ask them not me!"

The fact that Felipe is no longer in the hunt for the championship title is down to him having a poor season, with a mixture of some bad luck and misfortune combining with poor qualifying performances. However, when asked about his future, the Brazilian felt the media did not fully understand the situation. "I know what I am able to do and I know I am capable of fighting for a title and for race wins, something I have done many times," he maintained. "The problem with the media's perception is that they only look at the present, never thinking about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. But I am not bothered about comments from the press. I concentrate on what I am doing and I am sure that if I can fix the big problem I had this year, adapting to the tyres in qualifying as they were very different to the 2009 tyres, then I will be back in fighting form next season. I am very interested to see what next year's tyres will be like, from our new supplier, Pirelli. It is bound to be something very different again." As for sharing the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro garage with Alonso, this is no problem for Massa. "Fernando is a very strong driver, but I have always had strong team-mates, such as Michael and Kimi," said Felipe. "I know how to be in this situation, I know how to deal with a very strong team-mate and I am looking forward to overcoming this year's problems and fighting with him again next season."

On to more off-track subjects and the Ferrari man was asked about his visit to the Ferrari World theme park, which sits alongside the Yas Marina track. "The rollercoaster is fantastic, really great, the best I have ever been on in my life," said Felipe with enthusiasm. "It is different to most usual rollercoasters because it is all about speed and acceleration, which can reach 4.8G in acceleration while hitting 240 kph. In an F1 car, our acceleration reaches around 1.6G and braking is maybe 4.5. The feeling of speed is amazing and everyone who tries it will be impressed. The first time you have a go, it is really impressive and then, if you go a second and third time, the best fun is seeing the expression on the faces of people going for the first time ever! But the whole Ferrari World is great, because there is so much to do including great things like the simulators. It is fantastic for the kids and you can also learn so much about the history of Ferrari."

-source: ferrari

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari