After a couple of days in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, Felipe Massa arrived at the Speedway to tackle his usual Thursday encounter with the media and the first question was the obvious one: which team would get the most out of this circuit. "It is...
After a couple of days in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, Felipe Massa arrived at the Speedway to tackle his usual Thursday encounter with the media and the first question was the obvious one: which team would get the most out of this circuit. "It is too early to tell if this circuit will favour us or our closest rivals," said the Brazilian. "But I think we can be competitive here as it does not seem to be a circuit that would be tough for us."
As the championship reaches its final trio of races, all eyes are now firmly fixed on the Drivers' title, after the Constructors' one came Ferrari's way last week. "So far, I have had five pole positions, I have won three races and came close to winning others, so I am happy with the season, apart from the rather too many problems we had," said Massa, looking back at the year so far. "Certainly I am satisfied with my driving and it would be very satisfying to arrive at the last event, my home race in Brazil, still fighting for the Drivers' title."
"But 20 points is a lot to make up and we will have to fight right to the end. I don't like to say we have been unlucky, but we have had some results this year that certainly have not helped our cause. And I also don't like to look back and say 'if only," because that is in the past. We have to look to the future and if I don't win the championship this year then I will try again next year."
The difficult subject of one driver helping another to take the Drivers' crown was an inevitable topic, given that team-mate Raikkonen has a seven point advantage over Massa. "I have to think about the team, thinking to do the most to help the team whenever I can," offered Felipe. "We have three races to go and in those the key thing we must try to do is beat McLaren."
Asked if he would expect number one status in the team at this point in the season if he was ahead of his team-mate instead of the other way round, Felipe wisely steered around controversy, saying he was happy with the treatment he had from the team throughout the year. "The last three races don't really change anything. I will help the team and in that situation, if one driver no longer has the chance of winning, then he must concentrate on just working for the good of the team to help it win. But at the moment, I still have a chance of taking the title."
It was too early in the weekend for the Ferrari man to give an in-depth opinion on this new circuit. "Learning a new track is a big challenge for everybody," he said. "We have studied the layout and today I had a first hand look at the circuit. I like coming here to Japan, even if there is not much to do here at the circuit. I spent a couple of days in Tokyo which was very enjoyable. Japanese people are always very enthusiastic about Formula 1 so I have derived a lot of pleasure from racing here."
"The layout of the track looks interesting which is important as we have lost a great track like Suzuka. Of the remaining three races, I cannot say which circuits will suit us best, but I do think we will be competitive on all three. We are behind the others, so of course we are at a disadvantage and to achieve our target we have to finish all three races in front of them."
The last question got a very short answer from Massa. Is there the slightest chance you will not be in Ferrari next year? Answer: "No."