Felipe Massa was the first Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver to face the media today at Silverstone. It was certainly the first time that the lack of air-conditioning made itself felt at the British circuit under the motorhome awning. There had...
Felipe Massa was the first Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver to face the media today at Silverstone. It was certainly the first time that the lack of air-conditioning made itself felt at the British circuit under the motorhome awning. There had been fears that holding this race a month earlier than usual would result in a wet and damp weekend. Instead, the rest of the world had to cut their jokes about the English weather as blue skies and temperatures in the high twenties are the order of the day and due to last all weekend.
The Scuderia has not tested here this year. "It's not a problem for me," said Massa. "We know that our car goes well at this type of circuit and anyway, in the past I have driven a lot here and know the track well, so I am not at all worried."
As usual, tyres are the most critical part of any team's package at a race and here too, Felipe is confident. "I did one day's testing in Barcelona last week, and I have to say that it seems Bridgestone made a genuine step forward on the tyre performance side."
Quizzed about Monaco, where he ended up just outside the points in ninth place, Massa preferred to look forward. "Monte Carlo was not a good weekend for me after I made a mistake in qualifying, but the championship is still open, there is still over half the season to go and from now on, we must do well in every race. Our aim is simple, we must fight with and beat Renault. Other teams are also strong, but in my opinion the two championships will be fought between us and Renault."
Finally on to the most important topic for discussion, the football World Cup. "I can't wait to see Brazil's first game," said Felipe with enthusiasm. "We have a very good strong team and I we should be favourites to win the Cup. As for Italy, I was at the game when they beat Germany by 4 to 1 and I think they are organised and can also do well. But in something like the World Cup anything can happen."
Michael Schumacher followed his team-mate's appearance at the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro motorhome encounter with the media this afternoon and he was in confident mood about the coming weekend. "We had a great test in Barcelona," he maintained. "So I am really looking forward to this race. We found out what caused the difficulties we had when we raced there and found solutions for those problems. Renault was also strong at the test, but there is no reason why we cannot fight for the win here."
"In fact, we can fight for the win at every race and we must try and get more than just a two point advantage over our rivals. It will happen at some stage this year. We are also looking good on the tyre front, as I feel that Bridgestone has made a good step forward. The fact we have not tested here this year? It does not matter and although it is much hotter than usual here at the moment, we have taken that into account in our preparations."
The Grand Prix Drivers Association is due to have one of its regular meetings tomorrow (Friday) and the F1 rumour mill has suggested that Michael's qualifying incident in Monaco will be up for discussion. There were even strange suggestions that "Michael must apologise."
"Some people might see this as an opportunity to create something and do things," said Michael diplomatically. "As for apologising, I have already told everyone on Sunday in Monaco that I apologise for the mess the incident caused and I apologised if I had spoilt anyone's lap. Talking about it now changes nothing and I prefer to look forward to this weekend."
And inevitably, onto the World Cup: "Of course I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Germany," said Michael. "We have a strong team and it is special to have the championships held in one's own country. I am looking forward to watching the opening game tomorrow."