Massa's Blog

"We can be more competitive this weekend"

June 16, 2009 · Posted by Felipe Massa
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Maranello - “I had an unusual experience on Monday – driving a Formula 1 car away from a race weekend! With the ban on in-season testing, the time between races will usually involve quite a lot of talk with the engineers in Maranello about what is planned for the car for the following races, but no actual driving. This time however, with our test driver Marc Gene having just finished competing in and winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, I was given the job of sitting behind the wheel for an aerodynamic test at Fiorano. I say “sitting behind the wheel” rather than driving, because to be honest, it’s not the most interesting thing for a driver and you are a more like a robot, simply driving the car up and down in straight lines. But, it’s very important for the team and the development of the car, so I was more than happy to do it. Just driving up and down a straight means you cannot give the engineers much feedback as to how the car feels, but by changing front wings for example and looking at the telemetry data, you can compare it to data gathered in the wind tunnel and see if the numbers match, which means you are on the right track.

“On paper, this weekend’s British Grand Prix takes place at a track with some similarities to the last race in Istanbul, where we were not so competitive: this weekend’s track also features fast corners, flowing sections and a final slow sector and we will have the same two types of tyre from Bridgestone, but that doesn’t mean I think we will struggle as much as we did a fortnight ago. For a start, the new components we have on the car this weekend, including a front wing and a lighter chassis, should make us more competitive. But, more importantly, in Turkey we went backwards over the course of the weekend, after being very competitive on Friday and on Saturday morning. We now know why that happened, which is the most important thing: we believe that with the very high track temperatures, we ran too low on the downforce and should have run with more rear wing, because as the temperature rises, the grip from the tyres went down and we needed to compensate for that. As the temperature gradually got higher, our cars were running slower and slower in the first sector of the track; the one where you need the most downforce. In other words, the problem we had was related to the way we worked, rather than any specific fault on the car.

“So I think we can be more competitive this weekend, with these changes to the car. Apparently this is the last time we will race at Silverstone and I have to say that I have always enjoyed racing here, even if my track record is nothing special, especially in the wet and if you think back to last year, I had a terrible afternoon in the rain. All the same, it is a nice track and I hope that where we go next for the British Grand Prix will be as good as Silverstone in terms of its layout and the pleasure it provides in terms of driving. I’m heading to the UK today Tuesday, straight from Maranello, as I am attending an event in London for Shell, which is fine for me, as I enjoy spending time in London and then I will head up to Silverstone on Thursday.

“Whatever happens on the race track this weekend, the current political situation in the sport is bound to be making the headlines again. When I am driving the car, I never think about it and simply concentrate on my job of driving as quickly as possible, but outside the cockpit, I think about these problems, as they do affect me, as the relate to my future and the future of Formula 1. We are all very concerned about the situation and I follow the developments closely, as it affects my professional life, even if I can have no real influence over how the situation evolves: that’s down to the people who govern the sport and those in charge of the teams. We need our sport to be in better shape, because over the past few months there have been some very stupid fights. Everyone needs to work hard to make the sport what it should be for the fans, the teams, the sponsors and the drivers. We don’t need this fighting. The situation looks bad at the moment, but if agreement can be reached then it can have a healthy future. If not, then we need to look seriously at what is the best option: as the teams appear to be united, then maybe it is time to look at doing something different that could be better for the sport.”

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9 responses so far


  • Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009 05:30 by Mark Stephens
    Felipe, I am looking forward to watching you and Kimi tear up the competition this weekend! It would make a perfect gift for my 45th birthday today! ciao -Mark
  • Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 01:48 by Evdokia
    Dear Felipe, I support you whatever happend... Then team, kimi and you are the best... I am sure that you will make us proud!!!!! WE L O V E U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 01:52 by When-chao
    Best wishes for you! Look forward to your performance in Silverstone this weekend. Also, I hope that FIA and FOTA can reach an agreement as soon as possible. When the fighting outside the race track weighs more than the race itself, it will bring negative consequences to this sport. When-chao from China.
  • Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 11:36 by Gina Nadalini
    As an F1 fan, I am concerned too. I think we fans should have the last word. So if it serves to FOTA, know that I support you all the way... Cheer up Felipe, give your best in this race and we will enjoy watching you as always.
  • Friday, 19 Jun 2009 11:55 by Viki
    Hali Felipe! I hope in a few races this team will be the best and I like Brazils in football at the Confederations Cup! Ferrari forever, you are the best!! Viki from Hungary
  • Friday, 19 Jun 2009 06:13 by Filippo
    mamma che brutte prove libere stamane a Silverstones! Speriamo che il clima cambi in fretta per le qualifiche.... Forza Felipe, uno scatto d'orgoglio!!! Da te me lo aspetto più di Kimi.
  • Saturday, 20 Jun 2009 09:26 by Silas
    Silverstone has to be the turning point of the season. Come on do it for Rob, the team, you, the fans and me. I'll be in be pit the straight stand willing you on. Please, please a podium finish. Show these Brawn fans its not all about having a super dupper car. Your the man, we need 100% Felipe Massa, fast and flawless.
  • Monday, 22 Jun 2009 06:17 by Mark Stephens
    Dear Felipe: thanks for your fantastic race today, yes you made all of us proud and made father's day here in the United States a treat! It was fantastic to watch you in the red car mixing it up with the leaders.. Soon you will be back on the podium and in front of Jenson.
  • Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009 01:31 by Rhea
    Hello Felipe, Congratulations! It was superb race from you and from all team members as well. Well done! It was much more than I expected after qualifying result. I was very glad of it! Keep it up!:) Have a good time on your short holiday! Forza Ferrari&Felipe!

 

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