It might be difficult to imagine how a driver could find improvement after winning the last race but that's what Felipe Massa is looking for at the next round in Spain in two weeks. The Ferrari man took pole position then victory in Bahrain and...
It might be difficult to imagine how a driver could find improvement after winning the last race but that's what Felipe Massa is looking for at the next round in Spain in two weeks. The Ferrari man took pole position then victory in Bahrain and put himself in the title fight after a difficult time in the first two events, but there's always more to be done to try and keep ahead of the competition.
"Looking at the last two races, it was clear that Malaysia did not go well for us, but in Bahrain we had an excellent race pace and now we need to concentrate on finding some improvements in the car, looking specifically at different phases of the race weekend, like qualifying and the race itself," said Massa, who celebrated his 26th birthday this week.
"We have been analysing everything to try and improve for Spain, even if the last race was quite good for us. This is a Ferrari habit and it's a good one. After three races, this is a key moment in the championship, with the top runners all so close in the points. It is very tight, which makes it even more important to work even harder to improve every single little detail on the car."
It's a long four-week gap between Bahrain and Spain, due to the San Marino Grand Prix not being on the calendar this year, but it will be back to the test track next week. Massa is scheduled to be at the Circuit de Catalunya next Wednesday and he commented on how the testing programme had shifted focus a little away from so much intensive tyre work.
"The emphasis in testing has changed a lot this year, as in the past so much of our time was taken up with tyre testing. Actually, at the moment, tyre testing is still one of our main areas of work, but there are other areas of the car where we can improve. But it does mean that we are not concentrating on tyres quite as much as usual."
In Bahrain most of the attention was on Massa and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who finished second, and the pair managed overshadow their illustrious teammates. Kimi Raikkonen could not challenge Hamilton and bought his Ferrari home third while world champion Fernando Alonso only managed fifth. Like Massa, Raikkonen is looking for improvement.
"Twenty two points are a good amount but I think I could have got all the available points," the Finn said of his current tally, which puts him on equal points with Alonso and Hamilton at the top of the leader board. "I am sure we can be stronger if we manage to optimise the performance of the car and I hope we start doing at the next test session."
Raikkonen is happy to return to racing in Europe and expects the tough competition to continue. "Even if all the teams will have new things, we can be sure that the fight will still be very tight. At the moment, there are at least two cars and four drivers at the same level, so it's going to be busy out there! For the fans it will definitely be exciting and spectacular and for our part, we cannot afford to make the slightest slip up if we want to win."