Felipe Massa has been in Italy for a few days now, having attended the Milan - Barcelona football game in the aforementioned city on Tuesday night. But this afternoon, it was a case of back to work, as he faced the media in the Scuderia Ferrari ...
Felipe Massa has been in Italy for a few days now, having attended the Milan - Barcelona football game in the aforementioned city on Tuesday night. But this afternoon, it was a case of back to work, as he faced the media in the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro motorhome in the Imola paddock.
The Brazilian hopes that this weekend's home race for the team will bring about a change of fortune after a mixed start to the year and in some way, the San Marino Grand Prix represents a fresh start. "The beginning of the season has certainly been complicated for us, with Renault streaking ahead. Now is the time for us to do well. It is the moment to turn the page and to try and finish ahead of them, otherwise it will be hard to fight for the titles right to the end."
Next came the obvious question about how it felt to be racing for Ferrari just a short distance from the Maranello factory. "I definitely think that few drivers get this opportunity to race for Ferrari at home," he said with a big smile. "It is a very emotional thing for me to be a Ferrari driver at Imola, racing in front of all our fans and I am concentrating hard on doing well. I hope I can have a very good weekend. Yes, there is a bit of pressure, but to be honest, as a Ferrari driver there is pressure at every race."
While all the talk is of Ferrari returning to the podium, Massa feels that he too must move up the order. "The last race was very tough for us, because of the cool temperatures in Australia not suiting our tyres. So now it is important to close that particular chapter and start a new one here."
One journalist was critical of the team's lap times in last week's Barcelona test, but Massa did not share this negative view. "From the outside, which is where you are, you only see the lap times and not the whole pictured," reckoned Felipe. "We did a good job and tried a lot of different things, always with our minds set on the race rather than individual lap times. The overall tendency was very positive. We are in much stronger shape here in Imola, thanks to some interesting developments on the car, including aerodynamics, engine and tyres and that is the most important thing. It makes me feel confident for the weekend."