Massa: "Monza? we cannot be sure what to expect" Monza, 9 September -- Felipe Massa arrived in the Monza paddock for what he describes as his "second home race" and tackled the Thursday ritual of meeting the press. Tying up a loose end, which...
Massa: "Monza? we cannot be sure what to expect"
Monza, 9 September -- Felipe Massa arrived in the Monza paddock for what he describes as his "second home race" and tackled the Thursday ritual of meeting the press. Tying up a loose end, which had never come to light in Spa a fortnight ago, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver explained how he came to position his car on the grid a short distance ahead of the actual line. "Usually I think I am one of the drivers who sits lowest in the cockpit and the front of our car is quite high, so I definitely did not see the line on the grid very well, which is why I was a bit over it," he explained. "To be honest I was lucky that this was not noticed during the race!"
Even if the season goes on to mid-November, all the talk is already about the championship situation. "We are approaching the final stages of the championship and we have not had a perfect season so far, definitely not the one we were expecting, in that we have fewer points than our main rivals, so we really need to score the maximum points possible from now on," commented the Brazilian. "The current situation is not simple, but unless we do well from now on, it will become impossible in terms of the title." As for this weekend, Felipe was not prepared to make any solid predictions. "This is yet another track where we cannot be sure what to expect: if you look at the season so far, the Red Bull has been quickest at almost every race. Then there have been times we have come to a circuit with high expectations but failed to deliver, while on other occasions we expected others, McLaren for example, to be very strong and we were actually stronger than they were. So it is impossible to know what to expect, until we have all been out on track on Friday. Nevertheless, we are confident and feel our car could be competitive enough to fight for the win here."
The special aero requirements of this high speed track means the use of the F-Duct here is something the teams have all been studying, as Felipe explained: "If you have an F Duct working well, then it can give you a speed advantage on the straights, but the characteristics of this track and the low downforce configuration of the car mean it is not certain that it would be a benefit here. We will try it tomorrow and then decide which way to go for the rest of the weekend, because even if we had a straight line test last week, it is never the same when you come to a real race track." And on the subject of testing, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver was asked how useful were the sessions he spends in the track simulator. "It is a useful part of preparation, but you have to remember it is not reality, it is simulation and so it can never be as effective as driving the track. However, so many times this year, we have tried things out in the simulator and have then been able to use them at a race weekend with a good understanding of the situation, so in general, the simulator is very useful."
Yesterday, the FIA released an F1 calendar for 2011, which includes twenty races and runs from mid-March to the end of November. Felipe was in favour of the new look. "I am pleased to have more races next year. It means more work, but that is my job and I enjoy it. I like discovering new circuits like India, or this year Korea for example and I think it is important for the sport of F1 to be as global as possible. There has to be a limit, but one more race next year is nice and the fact the last race is in Brazil is definitely a good thing as I can spend some time at home immediately after it!"