Felipe Massa

Massa column: Gearing up for emotional Brazilian GP

Two world championship points for ninth place were the prize at the end of what I would say was a challenging Mexican Grand Prix.

For myself and the Williams Martini Racing team, any points finish is now precious – as the fight with Force India for fourth place in the constructors' championship will almost certainly only be decided at the chequered flag at Abu Dhabi.

There are just nine points separating our two teams, so it means during this final stage of the season we cannot afford any mistakes.

My race began with a good start, and over the course of the first lap I was able to pass Valtteri Bottas at the exit of Turn 1, and then overtake Sebastian Vettel under braking for Turn 5. It was a pretty good start – but after that came some more difficulties.

After 14 laps I switched from the supersoft tyres that I had started the race with and, as I got back out on track, I was really struggling for grip. For about 10 laps it was hard to get good traction, and with Sergio Perez right behind me I knew that if I had made the slightest mistake he would have got past me.

But I was very focused, and after about 10 laps finally the tyres got better and I could control the situation with less difficulty. It was very important to keep ahead of the Force India and I managed to do that until the chequered flag.

Top speed record

On the weekend of Mexico City, there was a great deal of interest about a new top speed record in a race. I managed to reach 371.5 km/h, but my teammate was 0.8 km/h faster!

Some fans have asked what it is like to be a racing driver when you hit such a peak, and if I answer truthfully I would say that a driver is aware of being very fast – but if it is 350 km/h or 370 km/h it doesn't make much difference.

We are used to the speed, and even if we like it when we go fast, the news of a record is something that excites lovers of statistics rather than those who are behind the wheel.

Home time

After the Mexican Grand Prix I went straight to Sao Paulo. The build-up to my home race is always very special, and this year it is even more so. It will be my last Brazilian Grand Prix and I am sure it will be one of the most special races of my career.

It was at Interlagos that I took my first steps with a crash helmet, and it is the place where I managed to achieve my biggest dream: winning my home race. Every driver wants to win their home race, but for Brazilians I am sure it means a little bit more.

The joy of achieving it is incredible, and I had the good fortune to achieve it twice! So knowing that in a few day I will drive my last home grand prix, in front of an extraordinary audience – it makes this time very special. I'm really looking forward to getting out on track.

There is a job to be done though, and on that front I do not think Interlagos will see much of a shake-up in the midfield compared to the last few races.

We have to knuckle down and bring home the best result possible – for if there is one place where I hope we can achieve something more it is Interlagos.

The support of the fans, and the reasons to give them something to cheer about, means I am preparing for a weekend that I am sure I will never forget.

Be part of something big

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Track Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Williams
Article type Special feature
Topic Felipe Massa