Massa Blog

We started the best possible way

March 18, 2010 · Posted by Felipe Massa
(15)

It would be impossible to have a better start to a season than to take maximum points from the race and that’s exactly what Fernando and I managed in Bahrain. I had waited so many months for this first race, but I was excited rather than nervous about sitting on an F1 start grid for the first time since last year’s German GP. I never had any doubt about my condition, because everything I did felt exactly the same as it did before my accident. When I was fitness training, it was all going in the right direction and all the activities I did in normal life were as before. All I had in mind was to do a good job for everyone, to get a good start for the season, not to do anything silly. It’s always important to go well on the first race weekend, but in my case it was even more important, because if I had made a mistake, some people would have immediately said, “you see, he is not the same as before.” That would not have been nice because even if I had made a mistake, it was not going to be connected to my accident at all. Anyway, as it turned out, the first race weekend went very well for me and for the team: that was down to the fact we have a good car and the team did a perfect job over the weekend in Bahrain.

The only problem I had was the engine running hot during Sunday’s race. We had to manage the situation as best we could, which meant I had to run a richer fuel mixture for around thirty laps, which therefore increased consumption. As a consequence, I had to try and save fuel, changing my driving style in some areas. Now the team is working flat out to make sure this problem does not reoccur in other situations.

The Bahrain weekend confirmed what we knew from February testing, namely that there are four teams at the front, Red Bull, us, McLaren and Mercedes. We were pretty happy with our car and we did a good job in qualifying, even if Red Bull took pole, going slightly quicker. In the race, the Red Bull maybe had a slight edge on the softer tyre and we had the advantage on the harder one. In testing, the Red Bull might not have been the quickest car in terms of lap times in winter testing, but I had noticed their pace over the longer runs had been very strong, so its speed in Bahrain qualifying was not a surprise. Overall, we were very similar and that reinforces the need to try and improve our car at every race through the season. It is a very close competition between us so this development work will be more important than ever.

The race weekend threw up some interesting lessons and I would say we learned a lot about the tyres for example. There turned out to be a big difference between the two types we ran in Bahrain qualifying and also in the race, the hard was much better than the soft for us. We need to bring this knowledge to the next race, because we must work to understand the different levels of tyre degradation from one track to another. It is a factor that can affect race strategy in terms of choosing the right time to stop, or what tyre to use for which part of qualifying.

I have seen in the media some criticism that maybe the tyre rules and lack of refuelling made the Grand Prix boring to watch for the spectators, but I think it is too early to comment after just one race. However, it is true that the situation at the start of the race is that we are six to seven seconds slower than in qualifying. Running on very low fuel to get a good grid position, you have a massive amount of grip, but then, on Sunday, you have a very heavy car with absolutely no grip in the early laps. Added to this, if you are following someone closely, trying to overtake, you lose more aerodynamic downforce, so these two factors combined mean it is even harder to overtake.

On Sunday night, I flew home to Brazil to see my wife and son, because now that we are a family, it is harder for my wife to come with me to the races. It will be easier to have more time together after the Malaysian Grand Prix, as we will move back to Monaco for most of the season after then. I leave for Melbourne on Sunday, which is a very long flight, so arriving early on Tuesday means I have plenty of time to adapt to the different time zone and prepare for what I hope will be another successful race weekend.
 
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Comments15


  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 12:34
    by Elmer
    Super Felipe Massa! I am very happy, that you are back in action!
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 05:26
    by Stevens Dolinda
    Felipe, we are verry happy that you were back this race and that you had a great result. Keep on fighting, you deserve the championship tis year best regards and i wish you all the best Dolinda
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 06:10
    by Lauren
    well done Felipe I cant wait to see you in Silverstone Bye and Good Luck xxox
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 08:16
    by
    Forza Felipe !!!!!!!!!!!
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 08:33
    by Davide Sterpin
    Great driving at Bahrein... That is a sign that you are back in F1...The best of the best...
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 10:24
    by Alexandros
    Bravo Felipe, you sent a message. You still are a Super Fast driver as you always were. God bless you. Greek Tifosi Ferrari!
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 11:01
    by Oscar
    Excellent Race Felipe, it is a shame that you got the high engine temperature and you needed to adjust, but in those circumstances the outcom was great!, keep up the good Work.
  • Friday, 19 Mar 2010 10:29
    by Abi
    Welcome back Fellipe.Im really glade that you are again the old one Felipe we use to... I will tell you this like I would to my brother:Life is only one,you have to use it on the best way.This is the right oportunity and right time to take the title...I dont think that you arrived to F1 to watch other drivers winning,and I dont think that there is anyone there better than you...To win the title,there is not only important to be a best driver,you need to be a litle bit selfish,and you need to make team to work for you a litle bit more.You had a good teacher (Michael) and title would be a good way to thank him,and title would be a great way to make your family be even more proud on you...My best wishes and greetings from Montenegro. Forza Felipe!
  • Friday, 19 Mar 2010 11:58
    by steve mann
    welcome fellipe so happy to see u back your fans are 200% behind u thanks for all the work u and the team do u can win the title for us all this year all the best
  • Friday, 19 Mar 2010 01:28
    by peyronnet wilfried
    Dear Felipe It's a very great pleasure to see you on the Barhein podium . 2009 is complitly forgotten and it's a new carier this year . Good luck for the future and for your Australian g-prix . I hope the end of the season will see you on the highest place on the world championship podium . Thanks for all . Willy one of your Ferrari fan
  • Saturday, 20 Mar 2010 09:00
    by Ipswich
    Felipe baby! good to see you back and looking forward to silverstone. lets win the championship
  • Saturday, 20 Mar 2010 10:32
    by Laure
    Hi Felipe! It's a great pleasure to see you on the podium, you deserve it so much! You are one of the best drivers these days, and thanks to your determination, Ferrari is back!!! Best wishes for Melbourne, I'll follow you!
  • Saturday, 20 Mar 2010 11:51
    by mig
    I'm so happy for you, I've been waiting for this weekend since 25th July, and thank God for your complete recovery. I hope, that you win the WDC this season. Bye..
  • Sunday, 21 Mar 2010 10:01
    by Cy Marven
    Awsome , great to see you back in action, cant wait to see you at Silverstone. This year could well be yours, i hope so Cy
  • Sunday, 21 Mar 2010 04:08
    by SAEED
    Hi Felipe,at the very outset I'm wishing you the best from the core of my heart.You had a troubled race in Bahrain.But you did a superb job to manage the situation and bring the car home in the second position.Sometimes,getting some job done is more difficult than winning.It takes a driver's coolness and brilliance to control it.You just demonstrated that on the raceday.If you can carry on with your spirit you can achieve your goal.People's point of view has changed over the year after your accident.Just neglect anything that is discouraging.Consistancy is the key-even more this year with at least 8 drivers poised for the championship glory.Great wishes for Felipinho too.You can upload his photo sometimes,so that we can have a look at him.Hope he'll surpass you one day.We understand you.Keep up the good job.Want to see you on the top step of the podium in Albert Park.Best of luck.The dedicated-'SAEED'.

 

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