Massa's Blog

"I want to keep winning"

August 27, 2008 · Posted by staffFerrari
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“That was a fantastic weekend and like I said at the time, it was also a perfect weekend, with pole, the win and fastest lap and honestly, I didn’t have a single problem all weekend. Everything worked very well right from the start of first practice on Friday. This was partly down to the work we did before the even with our simulation programme. But these things are never one hundred percent accurate and there are several elements that you cannot learn much about until you actually get to the track, such as the condition of the track surface and how much and how quickly the asphalt will improve. But in terms of simply learning the track, the simulation does help and it is an important tool. It meant we had a good idea of what to expect when we began driving.“As for the circuit itself, it actually looked much better on paper than in real life! On paper it seemed really interesting, but the race itself did not provide as much overtaking as we had maybe expected. However, leaving aside racing, the actual driving on this track was fun and it is better than many other tracks, that’s for sure. Before we went there, there was a lot of talk about the high potential for accidents and the possible intervention of the Safety Car, but it didn’t happen. I think the track was better than expected in this respect. Personally I was glad there were no neutralisation periods in the race, as my strategy had not been based on the possible arrival of the Safety Car. This time I chose a fairly aggressive race strategy as I had a very competitive car. When you choose a very aggressive strategy and you’re not sure if you’re going to start from pole position, it is always a potentially difficult situation as your strategy could work against you if you do not meet your qualifying target. When you know you have a quick car, you really have to do all you can to get pole as it is the best possible way to go into the race. “After Kimi’s engine failed, it was disappointing of course, but I was not too concerned for my own engine. Kimi’s failure involved a part in the engine that had failed on my engine in Budapest and while the team felt it was the better risk to leave Kimi’s engine after the Hungarian GP, rather than give him a big grid penalty on a tight track, mine of course had to be changed. Now the batch of “cursed” con-rods is no longer being used and we have instigated very close controls on the parts we are using. I hope the problem has gone away for both of us.“My win in Valencia moves me ahead of Kimi into second place in the championship. I’ve been asked by some media if I feel Ferrari should favour me for the title now there are just six races remaining: all I can say to this is that I want to keep winning, to keep beating not just my team-mate but the others too. Decisions like this are nothing to do with me. I just do the best job possible for the team and leave the rest to the team management.“On Sunday night, I stayed in Valencia and celebrated my win with my family and some friends and got home to Monaco on the Monday. But already on Tuesday afternoon, I drove off to the Monza circuit where I am today in the cockpit of my F2008 for two days of testing, before the Belgian Grand Prix. Life is going to be very busy and exciting over the next few weeks.”

 

"It was a shame"

August 7, 2008 · Posted by staffFerrari
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A couple of days ago I came back to Sao Paulo: I tried to forget the race at Budapest, but that's quite difficult! Although I don't want to forget the Hungarian GP, because in a certain way it was one of the best races I ever had in Formula 1, but it didn't end as the others, with a win. It was a shame, because I really think that me and the Team deserved the success: we had a perfect race at a very important moment of the Championship. Unfortunately we couldn't bring home the ten points we already had in our hands: it was really frustrating, but these things sometimes happen in motor sports.The start was the crucial moment. I spoke about it a lot with my engineers before the race. I knew that I could have a good start, thanks to the starting system of the car; I expected to pass Kovalainen, because on the clean side of the track I had an advantage. I was confident and I was right. Before the start we also thought about overtaking Hamilton and the only way to do it was by having a good start. So when I had passed Kovalainen I knew that I had to put my car behind the other McLaren, to make the most out of it. When he saw me coming, he immediately moved to the inside to defend himself, but I had a good pace and I knew that this was the decisive moment to try to overtake. I was very determined and I braked right at the limit and I even blocked the wheels: I thought that I might not make it, but then the wheels unlocked and I could take the corner. Then I had much better acceleration than Hamilton and I was able to stay ahead. For the first three or four laps my tyres vibrated slightly, but when it stopped I thought "Ok, the tyres are alright."Form then on I drove with very good rhythm: I think you can count the laps Lewis was faster than me on one hand. I managed to gain an advantage before the first pit stop and then a bigger one before the second stop. When Lewis had his problem I slowed down, because I had an advantage of 23 seconds on Heikki. I wasn't worried at all, because I could keep the pace I wanted. Even with the supersoft tyres I didn't have any problems, because I didn't go to the limit.But in the end it was not my day. When the engine failed I had a strange feeling. It was like a nightmare and I wanted to wake up, but I couldn't, because I was already awake! It was an incredible disappointment. This sport can be really cruel.Looking at the standigs at least I can stay calm, because not even Lewis won, but we can't throw away points like that. We lost ten, but the positive aspect is, that we've demonstrated that we're strong. The Team has done some great work over the whole weekend, in terms of strategy and eliminating the problems we had in England and Germany.We've worked hard to make the car competitive again and this is a good thing for the upcoming races. But we've got to resolve the remaining problems: we have to be as competitive as at Budapest, but we need to raise our reliability. We can't repeat certain mistakes: we don't have any more excuses."

 

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