Massa: Post-Spanish Grand Prix
May 28, 2008
Maranello, 2nd May - Looking back at the Spanish Grand Prix, a few days after the event, I think that what I said in the conference after the race is still the best way to sum up what was a good and positive weekend - 'you can't win all the races.' What is equally true is that, at the moment, qualifying on Saturday afternoon is of absolute prime importance. If you look at Qualifying in Barcelona, I was pretty strong and I was able to fight for pole and I did. But unfortunately, on my last attempt on new tyres I was unable to put together the perfect lap. That meant I started third and for sure, that made things immediately get more difficult for Sunday. I was aware that Fernando could have been a bit of a pain to deal with in the race, but I managed to get a very good start, which meant I got past him with a really good move.
In the first part of the race, it was not so difficult to pull out a gap on those behind us, but after the Safety Car, of course the field was all bunched up together again, which made our life a little bit more difficult. It was at this stage of the race that our good strategies and our pace paid off and allowed me to rebuild the gap to Lewis and also to Robert. But by then, second place was looking the best I could expect and in some ways that was down to what happened on Saturday afternoon.
I was very pleased to hear that Heikki was okay after his accident. For sure, if you have a failure on the car, there is nothing you can do as a driver. Given how hard the impact was and the fact that he escaped injury means the track safety features were generally the way they should be. And the car stood up very well too. The only unusual feature was that the car went under and through the tyre barrier and so did his head. That is a bit scary and I think the FIA should look into the construction of the whole barrier system. One other element of the race weekend that the FIA could look at is the new rule about the pit lane remaining closed for some laps under Safety Car conditions. In Spain, this caught out Heidfeld, who had to pit as he would otherwise have run out of fuel and so, through no real fault of his own he got a stop-go penalty. As you can imagine, its frustrating for a driver to see his race ruined by circumstances totally beyond his control. I think it should be possible to improve the current rule while maintaining the same level of safety. We have spoken about it in the Drivers Briefing and we will continue to discuss it with those responsible.