...after malaysian GP
March 20, 2006
On Thursday afternoon at the Sepang circuit, I faced the journalists for the first time since Bahrain. We were all squeezed into the small Ferrari team air conditioned hospitality area, because you really don’t want to be standing in the sun for more than a couple of minutes in the Malaysian humidity. The news had just come out that I would have to drop ten places on the grid because my car needed an engine change, before the practice started on Friday. One press man asked me if I liked racing when I had to fight my way to the front from a low grid position. I told him I did and that I had done it a few times in the past. I don’t know if he believed me, but I think I showed him I was telling the truth on Sunday afternoon.
My race in Malaysia was all about waiting for the right moment and attacking at the right moment. I think starting last and finishing fifth was a great result. I lost a couple of seconds behind slow cars which cost me time. Anyway, I’m really happy with my pace and if I had started nearer the front, I think I could have been fighting for a place on the podium.
In the closing stages, I had a problem because I lost 2 kilos of fuel at the moment that the crew removed the fuel line from the car, so I had to save a lot of fuel during that stint. Michael was closing on me and I had to be really careful on the throttle pedal to save fuel. It wasn’t so easy for me, but in the end I was able to keep him behind me. Obviously he knew about my fuel problem. It was a normal fight for position which I managed really well and that makes me happy.
What was encouraging was our pace, because if we had been lighter on fuel I think we were on the same pace as the Renaults more or less. I would have to say we were competitive. But our strategy was great. Of course I lost out a bit behind slower cars, but when I had a clear track ahead of me, I could push hard and run at a competitive pace. The team strategists did a good job and it all worked out very well.
At the moment, I am still in Kuala Lumpur, but on Wednesday, I am heading off to Bali. Why Bali? Because I have never been before and I am always keen to see new places. I’ve heard it’s very beautiful. It will be something of a Massa family affair as, apart from my girlfriend, my mother and father are also coming. Then on Sunday, I take an overnight flight to Melbourne and they all head home for Brazil.