Massa: "a reason to be happy" Nurburgring, 9th July -- It might be mid-summer, but the Nurburgring was true to its reputation today, as preparations began for Sunday's German Grand Prix, with cool weather all day and heavy rain in the late ...
Massa: "a reason to be happy"
Nurburgring, 9th July -- It might be mid-summer, but the Nurburgring was true to its reputation today, as preparations began for Sunday's German Grand Prix, with cool weather all day and heavy rain in the late afternoon. In the warm and dry Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Media motorhome, Felipe Massa met the world's media for the first time since Silverstone three weeks ago. The fact the championship has moved into its second half prompted questions about next year. "It can be strange to see a driver already thinking about next year, but it is normal for a team to look ahead,," explained the Brazilian. "I am still very much thinking about the second half of this season, but even so, I know that even if we win all the races remaining, we cannot be champions. So, as I driver I want to get back to fighting for the championship and I feel I want to be looking to do the best I can to achieve that, which is why I am already pushing hard in terms of development for next year. Maybe after the next few races, we won't have anything new to bring to this car. That can be hard to accept, but it is probably the best way to move forward."
Despite having a relatively poor season, Felipe insists he is still enjoying his job. "I finished fourth in the last race and I was happy, because starting from eleventh place, that was the best result we could achieve. For sure, knowing you have done your best gives you pleasure and is a reason to be happy."
It seems that the Scuderia is now the only team prepared to run with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System on its car and Felipe explained the reasoning behind this decision. "KERS is an advantage on our car. If you take it away, it does free you up to do what you like in terms of weight distribution, but for us it would lose us three tenths of a second. The KERS is what allows us to get on terms with some of the other teams. Next year, when we build a completely new car, starting from zero, not having to think about KERS, then that will be a different story. I hope we can be back at the front next year, but it will involve a lot of work. The other teams know what they are doing and how to build a competitive car, which is another reason why I am keen to be involved in ideas for next year's car."
So what is the best Felipe can hope for on the eve of the final half of the season? "I don't know if I can win a race this year. I will try all I can to achieve that, but I have my feet on the ground and I know the remaining races are not going to be easy."
Massa: "I have been taking part in the presentation of a new car"
"I arrived back in Europe earlier this week, having spent the longer than usual break since the last race, at home in Sao Paulo. It was an enjoyable time, but rather quiet, as I just wanted to enjoy spending some time with my wife, who is pregnant, expecting our first child in November. Perfect timing from us for the baby to arrive conveniently after the end of the Formula 1 season! Everything is going well and it is a nice feeling knowing I am soon going to be a "papà." Apart from that, I took part in a karting race with some friends. It was nothing serious, just some fun, driving a small 125 cc kart. Well, with an extra week in between the Grands Prix I had to get some racing done!
"I'm in Maranello at the factory at the moment, then this afternoon (Wednesday) I am travelling to Germany because I am playing a football match for the Nazionale Piloti team, with some other F1 drivers and some guy called Michael Schumacher. The game takes place in Wiesbaden, so I hope a good crowd turns out, as we are playing for charity as usual. I play up front as a striker and if you ask me if I am any good, I would say that, for a racing driver, I'm quite a good football player, but there is no new career waiting!
"Here in Maranello, I have been taking part in the presentation of a new car, the Ferrari 599 XX, which is used in a similar programme as the FXX one, where owners can actually contribute to the technical development of this "laboratory car," running it with full factory support at various race tracks. I did quite a few laps with it on the Fiorano track and, as my brother and father are here with me, I was able to give them some exciting moments in the passenger seat. It's a great car and fun to drive.
"On Thursday I will arrive at the Nurburgring and I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the F60 again. The layout of this track should suit it better than the fast corners of Silverstone. A lot will depend on how we get the tyres to work and even if we have some new components that Kimi and I will be trying on Friday, it is impossible to say at this stage what we can expect from the weekend. The first half of the season was very hard to predict and I don't see why it should be any different as we go into the second half."