Massa Blog

I hope I continue to fight at a higher level

April 19, 2011 · Posted by Felipe Massa
(15)

A couple of days have passed since the Chinese Grand Prix and I am still in Shanghai attending various events in a city which I find I enjoy more every time I come here. I had a very good race on Sunday, running strongly and getting involved in a lot of fights. The result should have been a bit better than my eventual sixth place, but I was very happy with how it went and I hope I can continue to fight at a higher level for the coming races.

For sure, we need to qualify better so we can start further forward on the grid which helps in the race, even with the talk of grid position being less important this year. In China actually my grid position, sixth, was not too bad and then I gained one place immediately after the start which moved me up to fifth. Most importantly though, if you look at the pace of the car, it was good enough to allow us to fight with the leaders. That meant I had a very interesting race, being able to make up several places because effectively, the car we had in the race was completely different to the one we had the day before in qualifying. It definitely worked well, because I even led the race for a short while at one point and I held a genuine second place for quite some time. Unfortunately, those who were three stopping for tyre changes caught us up much faster than we had expected in the closing stages and, on tyres that were in much better shape than mine, they were able to get past.

It’s easy to say, having seen how the race evolved, that I should have been on a three stop rather than a two stop strategy, but in fact, I am not completely sure this would have been correct, because the main problem I had was much poorer performance than the other cars experienced on the hard Pirellis, which meant that, when these tyres were fitted, the car had a pace more similar to what we had seen in qualifying and we definitely had more problems than the others. Up until then, the car was quite competitive. People have pointed out that Webber drove a fantastic race, which involved three pit stops, but you have to accept that, because he failed to get further than Q1 on Saturday, he had plenty of new tyres: everyone would want to be in that position, but you must remember he has a very good car, the quickest of the year so far. Nevertheless, we are always learning at this stage of the season and we should analyse everything very carefully to see if we should adopt a different approach, maybe modify our qualifying strategy to have some fresher tyres for the race. But after three Grands Prix it is still too early to say what is the best way to work with all these new rules, because in China at the weekend, you saw many different combinations of strategies and tyre useage and many of them seemed to work well. Nothing is one hundred percent clear yet and at Ferrari, we have to work out what is best for our car. It is possible that we could see very different strategies in the next few races, depending on the characteristics of the circuits.

In Shanghai, it was good for the sport of Formula 1 that Lewis won the race, so we don’t have the same car winning every time. However, we must not forget that Sebastian still finished second which is a very good result, which still keeps him in a good position for the championship. We have three weeks now during which everyone at Ferrari has to push hard to try and arrive at the next race, or more specifically the next qualifying, in a stronger position, so we can continue to take the fight to these guys. After Shanghai, we must also consider Mercedes as being part of the fight for the top places. They definitely have a quicker car than us for qualifying, but it’s not yet a match for Red Bull. But it is also true that the Red Bulls suffer more than most in a performance drop off from qualifying to the race, so this could see Mercedes continuing to be very competitive now in the races.

I am now preparing to leave Shanghai for home in Monaco. On Monday, I attended an event for a personal sponsor, Richard Mille who manufacture watches and in the evening I was at a dinner for Ferrari owners. Then before flying home, on Tuesday morning I was at the Shanghai Motor Show, making an appearance on the Ferrari stand, doing some press interviews and unveiling the Ferrari FF, the recently launched four wheel drive car, seen for the first time now in China. I am looking forward to this slightly longer than usual break at home before heading for Istanbul and I will be following very carefully the work going on at Maranello during this period.
 
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Comments15


  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 12:41
    by Diana
    Yeah! Our boy is back) Forza Feli!
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 01:22
    by Noe Izumi
    Dear Felipe, we're so proud of you! We dreamed with a victory for a moment. Thanks, because this is only the beginning :)
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 06:55
    by Cathie
    You are very-very-very nice and great! It was a great upset that you couldn't stay at the podium, but I wish you can do it in Stambul :) With love, C.
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 07:21
    by Cody Weston
    Just an opinion, but I think we saw some of your best racing, very reminiscent of your nearly successful 2008 season. Just keep fighting like you did and, with the right strategy, we can all see you and fernando winning again. You have the support of all us american Tifosi. Ciao.
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 08:57
    by Fanny Jorge
    Felipe, you made me proud! I still believe you'll be a World Champion, and you are the better driver and human being, on and off the track. Good luck and God bless!!!
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 09:34
    by Arek
    Thanks for a good show Felipe and for keeping me in emotions all the time during race. It was nice to see youre great shape at China, your will to fight and also skills. I Bellieve you will keep driving that way till the end of season. Youre first win at this season is comming closer. Best wishes Arek from Poland.
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 01:56
    by Fernando
    You're the best!! FORZA FELIPE
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 03:46
    by jibin joy
    so filipe massa is back,keep racing baby,god bless u,u driven beautifuly on shangai.
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 03:51
    by SziZita
    Felipe, I was so happy while you were driving on the 2nd place! It was really great to see You on top. It's a pity You've finished only 6th, because You'd deserve a place on the podium. For now I'm wishing You a great time with your family in this short holiday and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY on 25th April!!! I'll celebrate with You, because I was born on the same day :) Your big fan, ZITA
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 03:59
    by V P
    Hey Felipe,we saw some really amazing racing from you in the last race...Continue driving this way for the rest of the season...All the best!!
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 07:13
    by Herminio Arias
    This is the Felipe Massa that we like to see!! you`re back Felipe!! amazing race in shangai!! Forza Felipe!! greets from Paraguay!
  • Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 07:55
    by Sini
    Felipe I'm very proud to be your fan. I believe you can be on podium at Turkey! I hope you can take your 4th victory there, it would be amazing. Keep pushing, I always believe in you... FORZA FELIPE! Hugs and kisses from Finland :)
  • Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 06:11
    by Daisuke Fujioka
    I got big hope to be posible of winning the race this year! Your driving was specially very good in China. I will expect next Granprix in Turkey. We know that next race is very well for you, because of 3 times winner back. Best regards, your fan from Japan
  • Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 09:04
    by iggy
    This is the Felipe I like to see !!!!! great driving. I am proud to be your fan. Keep the heads up hope you win in Turkey.
  • Friday, 29 Apr 2011 11:20
    by Daniele
    I love you! Forza Felipe baby,greets from USA.

 

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