Massa's Blog

Looking at China

April 13, 2009 · Posted by Felipe Massa

Sao Paolo, April 13th 2009 - I am back in Sao Paolo for a few days and I have to say it’s always nice to come home, especially as I haven’t been here for about three months, a long time. I’m training and relaxing a bit but not for long because on Sunday I’m back on a plane flying to China.

Looking to take some positives from the Malaysian weekend, I think the car was a little bit more competitive, especially in terms of race pace, even if its still not easy in qualifying to find  the best lap. On Friday, we had a very good run and then, on Saturday in qualifying we had a big problem to get past Q1 but that was down to different issues in terms of how we tackled the session, rather than a car performance matter.

The car is getting more competitive all the time and the F60 should have some aerodynamic updates in China, which means it should make another step forward, but we still need to improve a lot because the guys in front, especially the Brawns are very strong. We need to push and we need to try our best, but at the moment Formula 1 seems to be split into three groups: cars running the special diffuser, cars running KERS, cars without KERS or the diffuser, so it’s hard to assess what is really going on across all the teams.

On Sunday night, after a second race where we failed to score points, I said that it was not a case of everyone at Ferrari becoming stupid or forgetting how to do their jobs which caused us to have a bad weekend, but we need to be cool and calm now in how we take decisions at the track. If you are too emotional, most of the time you do the wrong thing. We need to get on the right path to taking better decisions and, since Sepang, we have discussed ways of improving the organisation of the race team, while also improving the car of course. At the moment, we are not very good in many aspects of what we are doing, but it is also true that we have very good people within the race team and back in Maranello, so we know we can react, improve and change some details. But it is important that we do not try and change everything, because if you change too much, you can make matters even worse. We know what areas we need to work on and everyone in the team is really motivated to improve, which is the most important thing.

As for the last race, it was very chaotic because of the weather. We always knew that a late start in Malaysia would be a gamble in terms of the weather and the gamble was lost I guess. When they decided not to restart the race, the conditions were actually okay for racing, but it would have been far too dark to do the necessary number of laps to award full points. Even if it looked quite light, if you were watching on TV, you have to remember we were near the equator and night time arrives like an on/off switch there: one moment it’s day, the next it’s night. The problem with these late starts is that the slightest problem with the race and there is no time to complete it.

This season we have seen the usual front runners, ourselves and McLaren, both struggling and this situation for sure is not helped by the fact that in-season testing is banned. But we can improve the car without testing, thanks to all the simulation tools available to us. Where I think we will miss the testing is that I feel there is no substitute for driving around a race track to ensure your car can run reliably. Reliability is something you can see in testing, whereas for developing the car, we can do that in the wind tunnel, because, in the past, most of the times we have brought developments from the tunnel to the track, they have worked. But this rule is the same for everyone and I don’t think it has a significant effect. I would say it is the other rules, for example those that govern elements like the diffuser and KERS that are causing the problems.

I am looking forward to China, in the hope that we finally score some points. In the past, I have come third and last year second at Shanghai and I would really like to be back on the podium again. I expect us to be maybe a couple of tenths quicker than in the first two races, which might be a help to move up the order, but we mustn’t forget the other teams are also working on their cars. We have to accept that this year, we do not have one of the quickest cars on the grid. So we need to find more performance. I like Shanghai and the track is very nice and I have a good feeling for it. I’m looking forward to bringing home our first points. Looking at the lack of points, we can take some consolation that last year after two races, I had no points, just like now, but the difference is that last year our car was a bit better compared to the opposition.

Before I joined Ferrari, I drove for a team that was not used to winning, but many people at the Scuderia have only known the successful times, so maybe I can understand better than them what it means to struggle. But I think a top team having a difficult season is better equipped to recover, so I am hopeful that we can put this bad start to the year behind us and get back on the right road.


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23 responses so far

  • Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009 12:32 by Rildo Silva Jr
    Boa sorte na china, acreditamos em você e tenho certeza de que você junto com a ferrari vai mudar o quadro do campeonato, o Brasil torçe por você.
  • Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009 02:02 by proof88
    Hi, I am writing from Hungary. I also hope you will gather points in China, and it will be a warm up for Bahrein, where Ferrari used to be the number one so far. Life is like, up and down, but it is good like this, if there weren't downs, the ups weren't be so sweet, so keep moving, there will be much more better races for you not far from now! :) Adam
  • Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 05:20 by Li xue zi
    welcome to China Fighting...
  • Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 04:25 by Beverly
    hi Felipe, so could you use the diffuser in China too? But have team prepared this new solution... I think there are too confusing rules in F1 this year, but Ferrari is always the strongest team and early you'll be able to win again!!! Good luck
  • Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 07:00 by joflizn
    Hi, Felipe. Hope you'll have a good race in China. Bring points and have fun!
  • Thursday, 16 Apr 2009 12:10 by q
    I wish you will have a good time at Shanghai. Try your best to race. I hold out you forever
  • Thursday, 16 Apr 2009 03:34 by Arben
    Ferrari is the Greatest team in Formula 1 and in history of car sports. Felipe, You have to keep high that name and win!!!! Forza Ferrari
  • Thursday, 16 Apr 2009 07:06 by SFPeti
    Hi Felipeee! I hope you'll gather points in China and the other locations. We live hard times but never give up. Surely the improvements help and you can fight for the first position soon. Have a good race, Forza Ferrari! Peter from Hungary
  • Friday, 17 Apr 2009 02:28 by Johnny
    Hi Felipe, I'm confident about your driving skills enough to say that I'm sure you'll win :)
  • Saturday, 18 Apr 2009 10:28 by Li xue zi
    Nothing would break you... You are always the best... Don't worry about anything, because we support you... Forza...
  • Saturday, 18 Apr 2009 03:23 by Kitti
    Hi Felipe, don't worry, you can do it! I hope Ferrari'll better than on the last 2 races. Go, go and still go! You are the best.
  • Sunday, 19 Apr 2009 10:35 by Lily
    Felipe, I'm so sorry that you had another depressing weekend, especially because it was in China, my country. I was not on the track, but I shouted loudly in my own house and now I still have a sore throat. I prayed for you a lot but it didn't work. Just as you said, you can understand better than those in your team what it means to struggle and I hope you can keep up your spirit and never give up. Massa, Massa, you are the best. Massa, Massa, you never give up! By the way, I miss Bahrain and Turkey... From now on, may you always have an angel by your side. God bless you! Lily From China
  • Sunday, 19 Apr 2009 11:51 by Li xue zi
    we will never leave you alone...
  • Sunday, 19 Apr 2009 12:24 by Jackie
    Hi Felipe baby, just wanna say... dont feel discouraged about what happened in SH, everything will be fine~~remember we will support u 4ever nd ever
  • Sunday, 19 Apr 2009 02:19 by Lily
    Yeah, you never walk alone. You are not my best love, you are my only love! Forza Ferrari! Orgoglio Felipe!
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 06:09 by Mark Stephens
    Felipe you were on fire in practice 3 and the podium had your name on it until the rain stopped the car. You are the race drivers race driver and we support you and the team no matter what!
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 02:05 by Jorge
    Stop to look at the China and the unluck Felipe! You can change your season now, you can win again and change the results as soon as possible! You are stronger than others, be sure about this!!! Come on and hope Ferrari give to you a better car in the next races.
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 02:09 by Imran Patel
    Felipe I feel you have been unlucky in china as there was a good chance of a podium finish. I also think it was one of your best races in the wet. I just have a feeling that this year's car (F60) just doesnt look like a championship winning car. Looking on the on-board cam, it seems both you & kimi have to fight with the car at every corner to make it stick. Hope the upgrades for the Spanish Grand prix are good enough to move us at the front!!!!
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 04:49 by Gina Nadalini
    I also think you and Kimi will win soon. Think about wining, visualize it, you'll see...
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 05:15 by
    Forza Ferrari!!!!
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2009 08:56 by Abba
    I can only imagine your frustration. No matter, this is what will make the victories sweeter, just Keep it up, we are behind you and you will do it. you are slowly silencing every one. your performance is just becoming consistantly better, soon you will be known as the MAGICIAN or PROFESSOR
  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 02:31 by Tina
    Felipe, Im so proud of you .. Keep going fight hard.. I'll be right next to you thru thick and thin!! I'll always be a Felipe Fan!! :) Keep strong!! Forza Ferrari!!!!!!
  • Friday, 24 Apr 2009 06:33 by Tina HU
    I am from CHINA. And I am a fan of yours. No matter how different, never give up. You're always hard and we believe that you will be win. Forza Ferrari! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!



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