Massa's Blog

Taking points from Fernando's rivals

November 9, 2010 · Posted by Felipe Massa
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I have just arrived in Abu Dhabi, having left Sao Paolo on Monday night and, apart from the fact that I was racing in Brazil, in front of my home crowd, I can think of very little that was the good about the weekend in Interlagos. Qualifying did not go so well and then the problem with the wheel nut during my pit stop meant that my race was effectively over, as I had to come back in on the very next lap to change wheels again. If it had not been for that, I think I could have ended the race in the top five, which would have been a reasonable performance. From that point on, the race was very tough with so many cars in front of me. The situation with the traffic was particularly tricky and confusing. For example, at one point, Rosberg let me pass him and I did not understand why, but I think there was a bit of confusion with some drivers racing each other on the same lap being shown the blue flag by mistake. When the Safety Car came out, the situation got even more complicated. In my opinion, it was better when the rules allowed cars to un-lap themselves when they were behind the Safety Car, as it would have made the racing more interesting. This is especially true when you consider the situation in the championship, because there were at least a couple of backmarkers between Vettel and Webber at the restart and a lot more between Webber and Fernando, so it was not particularly good in terms of the show.

But now, let's look forward rather than back, as it is time for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. This will be a completely new track for me, as I was unable to race here last year, the first time this Grand Prix was on the calendar. I have driven it on the simulator and I have also used a computer game to practice it more at home in Brazil right up to yesterday so that I have as much information as possible, even if it is never the same as actually driving the track itself. Even though I was not racing in 2009, I did attend the Grand Prix and I thought the facility was fantastic. For Ferrari, this is a special event, as the team has strong links with the area through our sponsors Mubadala and Etihad and now there is also the Ferrari theme park, just outside the race track. As we will be staying in Abu Dhabi for a week after the race, when we have the Young Driver test and then the Pirelli test, I hope to get some time to spend at the park, which should be an enjoyable experience. Speaking of the Pirelli test, I am looking forward to it as it will be an interesting experience seeing what differences there are between them and Bridgestone, who have given us such good tyre service over so many years. It will be an important couple of days to get a good idea about tyre behaviour ahead of the winter break.

As for the Grand Prix itself, Ferrari is still in the fight for the Drivers' title and I really hope to be racing at the front, in the middle of the fight between the drivers still involved. If I can score some good points, taking them away from Fernando's rivals, it can be useful for him.

 

You can feel the excitement building

November 2, 2010 · Posted by Felipe Massa
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In a couple of days, it will be time for me to make the short trip from my home in Sao Paolo to the Interlagos circuit for the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. I can’t wait, because of all the races I had to sit out after my accident last year, this was the one I missed the most. I have been in Brazil since the Tuesday after Korea and it has been a busy time for me, part business and part pleasure, as I was at our home in the countryside last weekend along with all my family for my sister’s wedding. Now I am back in Sao Paolo for what is a long week of promotional and PR events, but I don’t mind as this is always part of the build up to your home grand prix. This afternoon I visited the Ferrari stand at the Sao Paulo Motors Show: it was nice to see a lot of enthusiasm for our cars on display. You can feel the excitement building as the weekend gets closer, even if we have had an even bigger event taking place with the election of Brazil’s first woman President earlier this week. Lula did a good job for Brazil over the last eight years and I hope this continues with our new President.

Even if this race is extra busy for me, I look forward to it as it is a fantastic feeling seeing all the home crowd making so much noise in the grandstands from Friday onwards, cheering me and the other Brazilian drivers. We have four Brazilian drivers on the grid this time, which will create even more interest with the crowd. For Lucas (di Grassi) and Bruno (Senna) it will be their first time racing F1 at home, but the fans here understand the sport well and know these guys are not in the most competitive cars so they should get to enjoy the weekend, because even if Bruno has a big name, the fans understand there is a limit to what he can do with the equipment he has and the same goes for Lucas. As a Brazilian driver, the crowd definitely gives you something extra and I have first hand experience of that, as my last three races here were very strong, so I hope that trend continues this time. I have won my home race twice and I would love to do it again, but it is very difficult to make predictions until we actually start practice. What we can say is that, in the past, even in years when our car was not so competitive during the season, we have gone well in Sao Paolo and I hope that will be the case this weekend. In general, in the last few races in Asia, our car has worked well which is encouraging, but it is also true that Red Bull won here last year and they are bound to be strong again. As the local boy, I can tell you there are no particular changes at the Interlagos circuit this year, which means it has it will have it’s own very special character as usual. I love the atmosphere here and I think in general it is a popular venue on the calendar: the race track itself is fantastic and usually provides good racing as you always see overtaking here. I hope it will be a nice weekend: in terms of the weather it is quite warm, in the mid-twenties, but there is no point looking too closely at the forecast, as it can change for better or worse very quickly here. All I will say is that when it rains in Interlagos, it rains a lot!

In terms of both championships, this is a very important race, but everyone at Ferrari will go about preparing for it just like any other grand prix, as you cannot change your approach. The important element will be reliability, so that we can get all our Friday work completed, before tackling the crucial qualifying, which will be very close, given how short the lap is here. As for the race, the first aim will be to make sure we finish and then we can see where we are at the flag.

 

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