Massa: "the Brazilian people make Interlagos special" Interlagos, 4 November -- Today's FIA press conference at the Interlagos circuit was an all-Brazilian affair, with the two "new boys," Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna, joined by their senior...
Massa: "the Brazilian people make Interlagos special"
Interlagos, 4 November -- Today's FIA press conference at the Interlagos circuit was an all-Brazilian affair, with the two "new boys," Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna, joined by their senior colleagues, Rubens Barrichello and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Felipe Massa. Indeed, it was an all Paulista affair as the four are from the city of Sao Paolo.
Asked to look back at this season, Felipe singled out his qualifying performance as the worst feature of 2010. "This year's results have not matched my expectations, especially in qualifying where I struggled to put together a good first lap on fresh tyres," he said. "It's true there have also been some races where I failed to finish in the points and then there was Singapore, where a qualifying problem meant I had to start from the back."
As to this weekend's home race, Felipe shared his fellow panelists' enthusiasm for the Interlagos circuit. "I have great memories from here with two wins and poles in 2006, '07 and '08, which was the last time I raced here. Then going even further back, at the start of my career, I won here twice in Formula Chevrolet. This track has many interesting challenges and you can be creative with the set-up, while many sections of the track require a very technical approach. It might be a short lap, not like most of the new tracks, but this circuit is very well thought out and there is always overtaking here and some nice fights. But it is really the Brazilian people who make Interlagos special -- they are so hot with emotion and they sing all day long in the grandstands, which is great for us Brazilian drivers, giving us some extra power."
Mathematically, Fernando Alonso has a chance of winning the Drivers' title on Sunday and Felipe was asked if he felt it might happen. "Well, Fernando is leading right now, so for sure I think he can do it here, but as we have seen this season, everything is possible. My personal aim is to try and win the race and of course I can help Fernando by taking points away from his rivals."
This week sees the premiere of a film made about the life of Ayrton Senna and all four drivers were asked for their memories of the great Brazilian champion, who died during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. "Ayrton was really amazing and I remember so many of his races," said Felipe. "But what really stands out in my mind was his ability in qualifying, not only taking pole in so many races, but often doing so with a big gap over the rest. For me, that was his strongest point.