Massa's Blog

"I have a very good record in Istanbul"

June 2, 2009 · Posted by Felipe Massa
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Maranello - It’s nice to be able to have something really positive to say for the first time this season and finishing third and fourth in the Monaco Grand Prix and setting the race fastest lap are two excellent reasons to be positive. Sure, at Ferrari we are used to not settling for anything less than a win, but given where we were at the start of the season, there is now a good reason to be optimistic for the next few races.

The car had definitely made another step forward in between Spain and Monaco, which meant it was even more competitive on the streets of Monte Carlo. Really, I felt I put in a very strong performance right from the start of first practice on Thursday. Unfortunately, traffic slightly spoilt my qualifying, otherwise I could have started in the top three and that could have changed the final outcome for me, because starting in the top three with three laps more fuel than the others could have been much better for me. The other aspect that worked against me is that, at the end of every stint, I found myself with Jenson right in front of me. Without these elements I feel I could have finished second, but more importantly, it showed that we have got closer to the pace of the Brawns and can look forward to being even more competitive over the next few races.

I came close to getting into trouble for driving over the kerbs a few times, but I was pushing very hard to gain position and in the second stint especially I was pushing like crazy! In that situation, especially in Monaco, you can find yourself going over the chicane. It wasn’t giving me any lap time and possibly I was over-driving a little bit. Later, I set the race fastest lap without cutting the chicane at all. The slick tyres that we’ve been using since the start of the year showed their worth in Monaco, as they give you more mechanical grip, which on a tight street circuit makes you feel a bit more comfortable and that explains why there were fewer accidents than in the past.

For Istanbul, we will have another small step in terms of aerodynamic development, which should improve the car still further and that is down to a big push from the guys in the factory. We want to continue to improve as quickly as possible, to try and win some races. If will be fantastic if we find we are in a position to fight for the win in Turkey.

I have a very good record in Istanbul, having won for the last three years starting from pole position each time. I find it difficult to explain why I should be so strong here, other than the fact we had three fantastic weekends in Turkey, when everything worked perfectly, with the car performing very well right from the first session. It would be nice to carry on in the same direction. I just like the track and feel comfortable there, but it’s hard to pinpoint why it suits me better than some other circuits. I do prefer fast flowing tracks and have a feel for all the corners here, as it’s not good enough to only be fast over one particular section of the track. I think I’ve also found a good way to set up the car perfectly for this circuit. It’s not just Turkey though, as I’ve won in Brazil for the last two years and actually, it should have been the last three in my home race. In fact, it’s been suggested to me that maybe the reason is that they are the only two anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar. Who knows? Maybe I’m better than others at driving through left handed corners!

Turn 8 in Istanbul is an amazing corner, where you hit one of the highest lateral G force levels of the season, which puts a lot of stress on your neck and body. On top of that, in the middle of the corner, you have a big bump, which can give you a problem in terms of stability. It is a really a tricky corner, with different lines to choose from, depending on how your car is behaving: sometimes you have too much understeer, or oversteer in the middle and all these factors make it very challenging.

The last few years, I haven’t had to give much thought to the overtaking possibilities in Istanbul, starting from the number one slot on the grid. This year, given how competitive the front of the field is in qualifying, it is going to be a very interesting Saturday afternoon, but at least the track does provide some passing opportunities, especially with the long main straight. Last year, Lewis (Hamilton) changed his strategy to a three stop and was easily able to pass me.

With the last race being in Monaco, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time at home, and with the good weather I’ve enjoyed training outdoors in preparation for what I hope will be a fantastic weekend for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. On Wednesday I jump on a flight to Istanbul and I can’t wait for Friday to see if the progress seen in Spain and Monaco will continue in Turkey.

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23 responses so far


  • Tuesday, 2 Jun 2009 02:32 by Tatin
    heyyyei FELIPE baby,,, long since hear you.......but good not good but very good to hear from you...... ya Istanbul is good fast and like the track for you.... Take care and LETS SEE YOU AT THE TOP THIS WEEKEND
  • Wednesday, 3 Jun 2009 01:23 by Lily
    Good luck Felipe! The King of Istanbul!
  • Wednesday, 3 Jun 2009 02:21 by Li xuezi
    we are waiting for your fourth champion in Istanbul... we really want to taste the happiness of Champagne with turkey
  • Wednesday, 3 Jun 2009 02:52 by Friend
    :) Best luck to you Massa. Always wish you and Ferrari on podium ^-^. We love you so much !!!
  • Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 09:45 by Matthew
    Good Luck Felipe! This track is yours. Come on win! Show it what you can do in turn 8 of the Istanbul circuit. Never give up! Forza Felipe & Ferrari!
  • Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 04:27 by Kovács Péterné
    Hello Felipe! We are sure you can achieve your fourth victory on the Turkish circuit. No public information about your lighter chassis - hopefully you can already use it this race. Push it forward to the victory! Forza Ferrari and Forza Felipe!
  • Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 08:14 by Mark Stephens
    Felipe, best of luck to you this weekend!!! I am really hoping to see you on the P1 spot on Sunday's podium! We are cheering for a Ferrari P1, P2 this weekend!!!
  • Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 10:54 by Rasim
    I know, Ferrari works as they work always. I believe in Ferrari. But i believe in you, Felipe. You must keep pushing. Brasil, that place where champion will be. Sorry for my english. Big Russian love for you and Ferrari.
  • Friday, 5 Jun 2009 07:25 by Felily
    Felipe, yes, the fourth is tough, but you said we can achieve anything if we really want it and push hard every day! Forza Felipe! Non Mollare Mai!
  • Friday, 5 Jun 2009 09:39 by
    You're simply the best!!! Come on Massa, we love you and Ferrari is in our hearts for ever. Florian, Ceada, Olan and Marija from Romania
  • Friday, 5 Jun 2009 10:45 by Vivi
    Dear Felipe! I hope you will have a good race in Istanbul again as you had in the last years. I saw you win firstly and I'm sure that you will fight for the podium at the weekend! Best wishes and have a nice weekend!! (Sok sikert!!) Vivi (Hungary)
  • Friday, 5 Jun 2009 11:40 by tony carroll
    good luck in Turkey Felipe and Let mr Rob dail you in for another ride of your life. haha. would i not be far away from saying that Bahrain is a simular track set up wise to Turkey??a mix of corners and set up on the car.but wish you all the very best of luck and say hello to Rob Smedley too. As i dont have a pc at home its only when i get the chance of computer time at a local site shop do you hear from me.haha thank god.regards tony.c.uk liverpool.
  • Friday, 5 Jun 2009 11:46 by Wen Chao
    I really hope that you can win in Turkey, and get the first win for Ferrari. Come on, Massa. Wen-chao from China.
  • Saturday, 6 Jun 2009 06:13 by gaokaiyin
    You never walk alone! We will go with you! Go go go~
  • Saturday, 6 Jun 2009 09:12 by Minh
    Good luck to you Massa. Wishing you get pole today ^-^
  • Saturday, 6 Jun 2009 02:45 by Happy
    Without winning tomorrow, 2009 F1 season is just over for the dreams of ferrari Tifosi... Let's hope you'll change my opinion...
  • Sunday, 7 Jun 2009 03:27 by Minh
    Go Massa go !!! Good luck today. Get Pole
  • Sunday, 7 Jun 2009 03:48 by Susan
    Still a upset result... However, I know you won't give up. F60 is not fast but you always push hard. So forget what you get finally and just enjoy the race. Best wishes for Britain!
  • Sunday, 7 Jun 2009 03:54 by Kemal
    It's a pity for you, it was too difficult today to continue to make better your record! I know Button is stronger this year, but you are always the king of Istanbul. Ciao Felipe
  • Monday, 8 Jun 2009 02:13 by Giovanni
    hey Felipe, keep a smile on your eyes, don't give up for this season so we still have to reach some success! Let's go, we're italian workers in Britain, and ferrarist too, hope to see you at Silverstone at your best!
  • Monday, 8 Jun 2009 10:00 by Moon.Q
    Come on baby! Though my spoken English is poor, I also want to say " you're not the talent, but you persist your dream continuously and for it endeavor." Man need this mettle. So you're the best in my heart. Smile please, tomorrow is another day! BY:Moon.Q(China)
  • Tuesday, 9 Jun 2009 10:36 by Rhea
    Hi Felipe, As you, I also expected a little bit better result on Sunday, and I hoped - if you already won't win - you will stand up on podium seeing the performence of the car in Barcelona and Monaco. But I'm glad that you score three point at least. I hope the problem will be found and solved soon. Anyway the race was boring. But there is even worse at this weekend that Max Mosley kills F1, ruined this sport with great past and he ruined fun of millions of people, including me too.:) I know the teams must reduce the cost but I don't think so that no matter what way make it. I'm sure of it million people support teams - including Ferrrari - to fight against FIA's new rules. But if FOTA will do their own championship the fans will follow teams and drivers there as well. Forza Ferrari & Felipe!
  • Wednesday, 10 Jun 2009 11:09 by Jia
    Wanna u join twitter, so we fans can know what r u doing??? only Piquet has an active one, plz...

 

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