Felipe Massa

Massa column: Brazil will need to solve F1 driver problem

Felipe Massa reflects on his final home grand prix and on the future of Brazilian racers in Formula 1 once he completes his final race in Abu Dhabi.

I could not have asked for more at my last Brazilian Grand Prix. Emotionally, it was an intense weekend, but I experienced many positive feelings.

On the sporting front too, I believe I played a big part in achieving the maximum possible result for both myself and the Williams Martini Racing team. We managed to finish the race behind the top three teams, and it was impossible to hope for anything more.

I was very happy with what I achieved on the track, but after finishing the race I was surprised to have had the chance to go on the podium.

It was a very nice moment – and it allowed me to say thanks to the Sao Paulo crowd, who have always been there to support me over the years.

The weekend got off to a good start in practice, and things continued to look positive all the way through to qualifying. I lost out a little bit with traffic in Q3, but we confirmed our pace within the top 10.

In the race, I had a good start, which allowed me to pass the two Renaults. Then I caught up with Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, and I managed to get past the Force India before the race was frozen by the safety car.

As we went around behind the safety car, I focused on how I could best overtake Fernando after the restart.

If he managed to keep his position, it would be very difficult to succeed in attacking him later on because his car is known to be good with tyre management, and around the lap it would have been hard to follow in his wake.

So I tried to make the most of the potential with the engine when the green flags came out, and the attack paid off – as I managed to get past him.

From then on, I tried to manage my race as best as I could. But in the final stages, the rear tyres started overheating, and I could see the McLaren getting larger and larger in my mirrors.

I knew that even a small blunder would prove costly, so I focused on trying not to make mistakes and in the end it went well. Straight after the chequered flag, Fernando came up to me to offer his congratulations – so it was a gesture that made me very happy.

Right now, I'm preparing for the weekend of Abu Dhabi and I must say that my goal is to enjoy my final weekend as a Formula 1 driver.

For the Williams Martini Racing team, securing fifth place in the constructors' championship is the main target. While there were worries a few weeks ago about the possible recovery of Renault, if there is no huge drama then we should be safe.

But I want to deliver the result in the right way and, after the positive feelings from Brazil, I would love to have a similar performance there too.

Before I go, I want to offer a few thoughts on the Brazilian GP weekend. There were some safety issues, as we know, and I hope that everything can be sorted for future races, because I believe that the presence of F1 in Sao Paulo is good for the whole city.

I've never known a driver to say 'I do not want to go to Brazil' and I really hope the situation can improve in order to ensure a smooth running of the event.

But unfortunately I think that there will be a bigger problem for Brazil to solve: the lack of a Brazilian driver in F1.

I really hope that it will be a short absence from the F1 grid for our country. But it will not be easy to find the calibre of drivers that we have had for the last 40 years.

"Obrigado a todos!"

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Williams
Article type Special feature
Topic Felipe Massa