Massa Blog

Sakhir: "I do expect to be more competitive"

April 21, 2009 · Posted by Felipe Massa

Dubai - The days of putting my thoughts down after each race and talking about winning and being on the podium seem to be a long time ago at the moment and honestly, going over each race is currently more of a pain than a pleasure. But I’ve not given up hope and there were some bright moments in a very dark and wet Chinese weekend.

In Shanghai, we still were not competitive enough and we had also taken the decision to run without KERS which could have been more of a handicap, but in the rain on Sunday, we were very strong. I was able to make up several places and I was running at a pace similar to the guys at the front of the field. That was the plus side, but on the minus side, reliability let us down again and I was unable to finish the race. Back at the factory, we continue to push very hard to overcome these reliability problems. The electrical fault that forced me to stop at the side of the track was, once again, a failure we had neverseen before. It has to be said that luck doesn’t seem to be on our side at the moment, as it was a very small and stupid problem that made the car stop, because it was simply a faulty reading within the on board data that indicated to the control unit that the throttle should be shut down. So, even though there was actually nothing wrong, the car’s computer decided to shut down the throttle and I had to park it.

After Malaysia, we restructured the race team, with Chris Dyer, our head of race engineering, taking on more responsibility trackside and in China this worked well. Chris is very calm and patient when it comes to making decisions. Although, in reality, once we had decided I was on a one-stop strategy for the race, there were not that many decisions to make on my car. So, it is too early to say how the new organisation will work out and we must wait and see what happens in more complex race situations. I am sure Chris will do a good job.

Because of problems in Malaysia, we opted not to use the KERS and, given that we had a wet race, this had less of a negative impact on our performance than if it had been dry. But, even in the rain, KERS could have been useful down the straights. At the time of writing, I am not entirely sure whether or not we will have it in Bahrain. Back in the factory, a great deal of work has gone into working on the system since the race in Sepang, so I am hopeful it can help us in this race.

Currently, I am in Dubai, and tomorrow, I am making a stop in Abu Dhabi, attending events for Mubadala and Etihad, before arriving in Bahrain on Wednesday night. I have always gone well at the Sakhir circuit, winning for the last two years, so I hope this is a good sign. In more practical terms, we tested here during the winter and the car was not too bad to be honest and the tyres seemed to suit the package we have. I really do expect to be more competitive, especially if we have KERS, as it should be a significant advantage at this track. I hope that finally we can make life difficult for the other teams and fight for a very good result. I am very motivated, despite the difficult times until now. But change must come and hopefully that will start this weekend. It should be much hotter than we are used to here, but I don’t think that should be a problem to deal with.


  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 03:25
    by Jorge78
    You're surely more competitive in Bahrain!!! You're the Champion there. And car'll be stronger because Kers does the difference on that track and you can work very very well with it! Forza Felipe, we are all with you and Red Ferrari!
  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 08:32
    by Pablo Lemarchand
    Forza Felipe!! We all behind you. We know we can turn this around. When you are pushing on the track, we are all pushing behind you !!! Good luck this weekend and keep your head up, you are a true champ! Pablo from Miami, FL USA
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 12:43
    by Thales Toledo
    Força Felipe, estamos com você, e sofremos juntos quando você tem algum problema. Só pede pro Rob não te chamar de Baby pelo rádio. hehehe. Abraço cara.
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 08:29
    by happy
    Happy Birthday, though it's a little bit early.
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 09:28
    by Holly Wang
    Hey! Felipe, maybe you don't remember me now. I'm the Chinese girl with the yellow hat who said I supported you forever at the gate of Hotel FOUR SEASONS on last wednesday afternoon! I want you to know there are a lot of Chinese fans are standing by you! So good luck in Bahrain and Happy Birthday!!! Yours Sincerely, Holly
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 09:32
    by Holly Wang
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 11:44
    by shiji
    whatever happened, you are the best. And we will support you forever.
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 12:16
    by Eliska (Czech republic)
    Happy birthday! You are the best formula 1 driver!!! Eliska (Czech republic)
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 12:31
    by Katharine
    Dear Felipe, Happy birthday~ you are the best one in everyone's heart,and I'll stand by your side with my ever love!believe yourself~fighting~ you are the world champion~!
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 02:34
    by Enzo
    Your birthday? Have a big party for your birthday, more, have a two big parties on sunday evening, so all the team can celebrate you and you victory in Sakhir!!! Thanks a lot Felipe for all emotions you give us, old ferrarist heart!
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 03:39
    by Ksenia
    The love and energy from Western Siberia (Russia) is always with you and your team! Your optimism is the power to overcome everything!
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 02:53
    Good luck!!
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 03:53
    by Gina Nadalini
    Happy Birthday Felipe, now I know why I like you so much: my birthday is on april 23. So I hope we both will have a very happy birthday watching Ferrari win this sunday. Go Felipe!!!, luck and us fans are on your side. Gina, from Guatemala.
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 12:51
    by Paul (London)
    Forget about the setbacks the car is currently experiencing. You are the best and you need to show it out there. You are not only driving for Ferrari but also for us fans that so much believe in you. Go get them! Good luck cos you need it.
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 02:17
    by Wayne
    Felipe I remember a wonderful holiday in Brazil last year and you were very loved by all your people. I know you make happy a whole nation with a triumph of your own in next race at Bahrain. Come on Baby!!!
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 04:22
    by Emma Fenn
    Hey Felipe, change must be on the cards for you and Ferrari and surely a bit of luck as well? The bad luck must end some time! Keep motivated and happy and remember we are all behind you. Have a Happy Birthday too. Emma - England
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 08:04
    by Igor from Canada
    Dear Felipe All the best and good luck in Bahrain. This circuit truly belongs to you! Go for it! Wishing you Happy Birthday! True fans stand for their team in all times. Our hearts are with you! May the Force be with you!! Igor
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 08:13
    by Kovács Péterné
    Hi Felipe, I heard that Ferrari built a lighter-weight chassis to Räikkönen. Is that information right? May not be you at a more disavantageous situation (independently of the KERS) as your car’s balance might be worse than Räikkönen’s? I hope no. Happy birthday! And push it in Bahrain!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 05:39
    by IrisHan
    Hello Felipe~Feliz Aniversário!I'm a fan of you from China. Last week in Shanghai we gave Rob a booklet and asked him to bring it to you, a birthday present some freinds of mine and I compiled. Have you ever read it? And do you like it? We know for you and your Ferrari team this year would be tough, but no matter what happens, we'll support you. No matter how hard it would be, we'll be by your side forever!!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 07:45
    by Li xue zi
    生日快乐 Buon compleanno Happy birthday Feliz Aniversário
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 08:16
    by SFPeti
    Hi Felipe! First of all I wish you a Happy Birthday. I hope you can find some points for Ferrari. I stand by You. Never Give Up! Forzaaa
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 09:15
    by Bubble
    Hi! This is my first time to write something for you. I am one of you fans in China. All of us will support you forever. And I want to thank you for belief for it courage me to do better in my life. Happy Birthday!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 09:39
    by Li xue zi
    Just want to say happy birthday to you...
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 01:45
    by vivyenn
    Hi Felipe! Happy Birthday! You were the best in Bahrein, on the qualifying session! I wish you the bests and GOOO FELIPE!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 02:36
    by abe
    Happy Birthday! I will support you next year not to mention this year!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 03:41
    by Predator
    Hello Felipe, I wish you happy birthday! You did a good job in Q and I belive you will do your best in tomorow race! Never give up!!!
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 07:48
    by Karla
    Felipe, I am a 13-year-old South African writer. I would very much like to write a story from a F1 driver's point of view. Trouble is: I have no idea what it's like. I have no intenssions on driving a F1 car any time soon, for obvious reasons, but I would like to ask you a few questions about what it's like, what goes through your mind and so on . . . The reason for this is quite simple: I can't write a book on what I think goes on and lead a reader into thinking it is what really does go on. Hope to hear from you soon, my best wishes, Karla.
  • Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 12:06
    by Tina
    Good Luck this weekend Felipe!! Happy Birthday Baby!!! May you taste the sweet taste of victory!!! Forza Ferrari...Go Felipe!!
  • Monday, 27 Apr 2009 02:59
    by Mark Stephens
    Felipe, you are always competitive and always have the desire, there is no question about that! Happy belated birthday (Saturday) and keep up the good work. Spain will most likely give you a car that will allow you to win and as always we will be watching and cheering you on!
  • Monday, 27 Apr 2009 02:27
    by Matthew
    Hi Felipe, you're the best driver in F1 and as soon you can show it. Let's go to Spain with courage!!!
  • Monday, 27 Apr 2009 04:24
    by rolando arevalo
    Ola Felipe! Don't worry amigo, the breaks will definitely come, looking forward to the European leg and perhaps we'll see a break in the weather, more power to Ferrari! rolando from the Philippines ps. belated happy birthday!
  • Wednesday, 29 Apr 2009 01:32
    by Cristiano
    PQ vc´s não tentam utilizar o KERS para dar mais estabilidade nas saídas de curva do carro, distribuindo a potência extra gerada por ele para a "roda direita" ou para a "roda esquerda".
  • Wednesday, 29 Apr 2009 04:38
    by Matthew
    I read on this website you won 15 race in Formula 1 with Ferrari. Run to arrive at 20 early and then you can dream as all your fans with you! Come on Felipe!!!
  • Wednesday, 29 Apr 2009 04:59
    by Lily
    Ciao Felipe! Sorry, this is a late Happy Birthday... and maybe the birthday was not really happy due to the racing result. Don't worry. We all have some ups and downs and I believe your and your people will bounce back soon! Ti amo~ Te amo! Forza Felipe! Orgoglio Ferrari!


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Here we are, on the eve of my home race, the Spanish Grand Prix. It’s always a special event for me, because racing in front of my fans has always been a unique feeling. This topic and my relationship with the fans is something you can find out more about exclusively in the sixth edition of the Scuderia Ferrari Racing News at and, as many of you have been able to read, in the answers I have posted to my followers on @alo_oficial. On the subject of exciteme ... Read all »

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