Massa: "Ferrari never gives up"
May 14, 2009
Maranello - The days after the Spanish GP I read that I've raised the white flag for this season. This is not the case and I want that to be clear. Obviously the situation in the Championship is very very difficult and it seems to be quite realistic saying that catching up seems to be almost impossible, considering our gap as far as the points are concerned. That doesn't mean that we've given up. We'll continue working on the car and will give it our all to win races and finish the Championship the best way possible. We've shown last year that we're not a team that gives up when there are negative results.
The F60's behaviour at Barcelona was completely different compared to the first races: it was much more fun driving it, it was more stable and had more grip and a higher downforce. That was a huge step forward and it shows that we're able to improve a lot after a difficult start. We've worked a lot and this result is encouraging for the near future, when we'll have new developments coming up.
They say that a car that's doing well at Barcelona goes well everywhere. I'm not sure if this is true, but what I can say is that we were competitive again. The car is not perfect - no car is - and we've still got some problems with the hard compound, especially on the first lap: we made a step forward, but that's still not enough.
The fact that we brought such a big package of improvements to Barcelona without practically testing it on the track means that Friday's free practice sessions were very intense and we had to understand the effects of all these modifications. The good news from last weekend is that the F60 finally seems to be competitive. This is thanks to everybody who has been working so hard at Maranello and at the track; the bad news is that we've still got reliability problems. Kimi had to retire and I had problems during both of the pit stops with the fuel that didn't completely go into the tank. We still have to understand what happened there: we've tested and analysed a lot at Maranello these days, but we haven't reached a final conclusion yet. It was really frustrating when I had to give away two positions, because I had to slow down to safe petrol to cross the line. Furthermore I lost the cover of the left front wheel. That confirms that when you have so many improvements on the track some reliability problems might show up especially when you don't have the test sessions we were used to in the past.
This is the first week, compared to the last years, I don't have to drive the car before a race, due to the new rules. There's still the simulator; it can't replace the car, but it's still a good opportunity to get ready for the next Grand Prix. During the week I'll be at the CRF in Turin working on the race at Monte Carlo. It's true that we had a more competitive car, but we know that this is a completely different circuit compared to Montmelò, which can only be compared to Singapore. Having said that I think that the F60 will go well at Monaco, also because we'll have numerous improvements. Considering that overtaking is almost impossible, we have to try to find the best possible set up for the qualifying, for the best possible position on the grid. They say that the KERS won't help in this race; but I think that we'll use it, also because our car's project was born around this system. It's strange that on such a short circuit with such small gaps the system could be decisive. We hope that we'll make a further step ahead, the way we did in Spain.