Massa Blog

A good car now is a good step for 2012

July 6, 2011 · Posted by Felipe Massa
(11)

On Wednesday I fly to England for the British Grand Prix which is more or less the halfway point in the championship and for Ferrari it will be a case of seeing if it can also be a turning point, after a tough first half of 2011.

Immediately after the race in Valencia, I flew home to Monaco and then, at the end of last week, I went to Maranello for a couple of days of meetings with the engineers and work in the simulator to prepare for the next series of races. In the simulator we were working on many different elements, looking at both the Silverstone and Barcelona circuits, including the new engine maps that are now needed to fit the regulations and other areas on the car, including evaluating new components we hope to run at Silverstone this weekend. The reason we also ran a simulation using the Barcelona circuit is that the Spanish track is the “baseline” track for all our work in the simulator. We nearly always run the Catalunya track when we want to try something new.

I like coming to Silverstone which I know well, but this year it will be a bit different as they have completely relocated the paddock to another part of the track. At the most basic level, it means we are at least going to have to learn new corner numbers to use when talking to the engineers! On a more fundamental level, this change might slightly affect strategy because, depending on the length of pit lane, it might alter the overall time, either up or down, for a pit stop. We have looked at it on the simulator, but we need to experience it for real on Friday before we can be sure. Silverstone is a very famous circuit and the British Grand Prix is always an important appointment on the calendar. It has a unique atmosphere, always with a very big and happy crowd that really loves motor racing. It is always a pleasure to see the packed grandstands and, even though I am not British, I feel motivated and get a good feeling there.

The important question is how well the 150º Italia will perform here. It is true, as many people have said, that the last three circuits suited our car well, but I expect it to also perform well at Silverstone thanks to developments we have introduced, although of course the other teams will probably have done the same. I expect we will be competitive, but we must wait and see how the car works at a type of track where, earlier in the year, we were not so competitive. The reason this is important is that, if we are competitive in England, then it confirms we have improved a lot and have reduced the gap to the other teams. We will also see how much we have improved our performance with the Hard Pirelli tyres, which we have not used them since Barcelona. We will also have the Soft tyre in Silverstone as the Option and that is a good thing, because it means we have a tyre that suits us well for qualifying and maybe for a major part of the race as well. Unless we get some typical British weather and it rains, in which case I believe we can also be in good shape, as we were quick in those conditions in Canada.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether Ferrari’s championship chances are already over this early in the season. I don’t know the answer to that, but will still tackle every race in the same way, trying to win it. Getting the first win of the season is our immediate task and then trying to win more. Only at the end of the year, should we look at the championship situation. Realistically, Sebastian Vettel would need to do a really crazy job to lose the title. But we cannot give up and this situation changes nothing in our approach, because a victory is already a very nice thing to have and some wins this year would show we have done a good job. We must not forget that improving the car and its performance can also be important for 2012, because there are not so many rule changes coming which means that the car will not change completely compared to this year. A good car now and at the final race of 2011 is already a good step forward for 2012.
 
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Comments11


  • Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 09:21
    by Marco
    Well, everything can happen, Felipe. Ferrari can win, Ferrari can reach Red Bull. You must work very hard, but rememeber 2010, everything can happen :)
  • Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 09:23
    by Szabó Balázs
    Hi, Felipe. I hope you read my post. I can only repeat myself: I have trusted in you for many years. For me it' not a question that you are a great driver. You had three fantastic drivers alongside you: you could beat Michael and Kimi quite easily at some venues and you were able to match Fernando at some events. Things don't go well for Ferrari and you this year, but you remain a fantastic racing driver and I really wish we could meet at the end of the month at Hungaroring. For this event: good luck. One thing you have to take care that you cannot pit more than one lap later than the others. We all know how much of a difference new (option) tyres make! Good luck to you and Ferrari! You are a fantastic unit which want to see many years!
  • Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 12:29
    by Noe Izumi
    The thing I love most of you is that you never give up. Keep pushing :) My best wishe from Canary Islands, Noe
  • Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 08:29
    by Cathie
    There is only one thing which I want to tell you: never give up! and try to win! I know you can, so you have to do it! I really believe in you, and wish you all my good thoughts and God's blessing! With love, C. from SPb.
  • Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 08:46
    by Hollie
    I'm glad you still have the winning mentality, Felipe! I for one would love to see Ferrari on the top step of the Podium some time this season. I wish you all the luck in the world and keep fighting. I look forward to watching you race at Silverstone and the rest of the season! Catch those Red Bulls and let the Prancing Horse reign supreme! Much love and luck, Felipe! Love Hollie x
  • Thursday, 7 Jul 2011 01:41
    by Patrick Mahon
    Great blog post Felipe - many thanks. Nice to know that you enjoy coming to Silverstone - we also love seeing you race in Britain! Good luck this weekend!!
  • Thursday, 7 Jul 2011 07:36
    by Rheaa
    have a good race, good luck!
  • Friday, 8 Jul 2011 01:39
    by joshua
    massa.. go out and drive a good race..drive with intelligence and a good head..not with your heart out...start winning points for now..no miracles?..you be surprise :)
  • Friday, 8 Jul 2011 11:37
    by Nastja
    Felipe! I wish you good luck on the track and during your pit stops. Show your best driving to everybody! your fan from Russia, Nastja.
  • Friday, 8 Jul 2011 08:59
    by SziZita
    Very well done in free practice, Felipe!!! Now you just have to show that in qualifying and in the race as well YOU are the best!!! I want to see You winning! Good luck and success!!! ZITA
  • Wednesday, 13 Jul 2011 09:01
    by
    Felipe I like the way you driving! Good Luck for the next races! I belive in you, you are a part of Ferrari and you grew up with me in F1! You are back! Like in 2008! Forzaa Massa! Beest wishes from Germany (Bavaria)

 

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