Japanese GP: Felipe Massa preview

Massa: "A small step forward with the car" Mount Fuji - When Felipe Massa met the media at the Fuji Speedway this afternoon, it was clear that the journalists felt he was the unluckiest driver in Singapore. But when asked what he hoped from ...

Massa: "A small step forward with the car"

Mount Fuji - When Felipe Massa met the media at the Fuji Speedway this afternoon, it was clear that the journalists felt he was the unluckiest driver in Singapore. But when asked what he hoped from this weekend, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver appeared to want more of the same: "I would like the weekend to start just like in Singapore with a good practice, a great qualifying and a strong first stint in the racebut after that, I would like to do things differently and also have a good second and third stint and win the race!"

And the championship situation? "I am seven points behind, which is a bit of a worse situation than we should be in, but we still have a strong chance in the championship and win or lose, we will do it together as a team. Looking back to Singapore, that same rule applies. I am not the sort of guy to go back to the team after an incident like we had there with the refuelling and say that it was the fault of one individual. We are a strong team, we can still win. Sometimes things like this can unfortunately happen. We are working strongly to try and reach our goals."

Since the Singapore pit stop mishap, the Scuderia has confirmed it will revert to using the "lollipop" method of signalling to a driver when he can leave the pits, rather than the more sophisticated "traffic light" system. "With a lollipop, if there is a mistake or a problem, the man operating the lollipop, having put it up to let you go, can sometimes quickly see the mistake and put it down again right in front of your face and you brake. That's the only difference, but in performance terms, the lights are quicker and we are always trying to have the best performance level in every area of the team operation. I was very comfortable with the lights and this was the first time we had a problem and it came at just the wrong moment, so it had a big impact as I was leading the race."

As for this race, Felipe explained there were a few small changes on the F2008. "We have made a small step forward aerodynamically with the car which gives us a small improvement over the last race. Apart from this and the lollipop, there are no other changes to anything in the team since Singapore. So now, let's just try and win this race and try and win the championship. Everyone in the team is pushing to the maximum to achieve our targets. I am not the sort to look back and say we lost precious points and if certain things would not have happened then we would be champions already. That is not the way I am, and the most important thing as I said before is that we win and lose as a team. We need to do everything right from now on, because making mistakes with three races to go is not a good idea!"

And a final word on his main rival for the title, Lewis Hamilton: "I think he's a very strong driver and it will be a hard fight with him, as it has already been for many races, both last season and this season. But I think that me and Ferrari are also very strong. We just have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season - whoever has done the best job or whoever has had the most luck, it doesn't matter. All that matters is who has the most points."

-credit: ferrari

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari