Massa's Blog

I’m ready to race

March 21, 2011 · Posted by Felipe Massa

It’s time to go! When you will read my words, I will be flying from Sao Paolo to Melbourne. It is the longest flight of the year for me, but I can’t wait to get going: I’m ready to race and I think the whole team is well prepared after doing so many laps over all the days of winter testing, even more than we had planned in the end. The car appears to be reliable, but on its own this is not enough as the car needs to be quick too. For the moment, reliability has been good and I don’t think we can complain about performance, but we won’t have a clear picture until all the teams are together on track in Melbourne.

The start of a new season is always a thrilling time and this year we have plenty of novelties to get used to, even if KERS is something we understand well having already used it in 2009. Actually in terms of running the adjustable rear wing, we did thousands of laps using it, so we are fully aware of how to run it – you press a button, the wing moves and drag is reduced and I would estimate the car goes between 12 and 15 km/h quicker than before on the straight. In practice and in qualifying, you can use the wing as much as you want, even on the shortest straights. This is something we concentrated on a lot during the winter, so that it becomes an automatic reflex for the driver as you drive the car. That means we have a good understanding of how to use it to improve performance and lap times, but when it comes to using it in the race, when you cannot use it all the time and it is simply an aid to overtaking, then in this situation, we do not have a clear picture of how effective it will be. I am sure it can help, but we must wait and see what is the true situation in a race.

Before I drove the car for the first time in testing, I was really concerned about what it would be like having all these systems to control and buttons to press, with the wing, with KERS and so on. Then, after the first few days of testing it started to become automatic and, together with the engineers, we came up with some good methods to be able to operate these systems without affecting your concentration and your visibility of the track without taking your eyes off the road.

While KERS and the rear wing will have an impact on the races, the biggest change of all in terms of its influence on the character of the race weekend is perhaps also the simplest, which means the arrival of Pirelli as the tyre supplier. Getting to understand the new tyres has been one of the most interesting aspects of the winter tests and for my part, it’s true I don’t have any difficulty warming up the tyres which was a big problem for me last year. With the high degradation we are seeing, the races will be very different and we will need to pit several times, whereas last year many races needed just one stop. It will also be interesting to see how the tyres operate when we reach the warmer countries, although maybe not Australia, as it is not expected to be so hot in Melbourne next week. Also, the difference between the soft and hard compounds is far greater which might even change the way you approach with a view to what tyre you will then use to start the race the next day. Certainly the drivers will have more influence over when we make the pit stops in the race: of course there will be a plan regarding our strategy made before the event, but I expect the situations to change far more quickly during the races with a driver feeling when tyre degradation is starting and choosing to pit early to get ahead of the car in front, or in the case of a safety car period. It will be very different and maybe more exciting for the spectators.

I’m happy to be starting the season in Australia, although I am also disappointed not to be going to Bahrain from a racing point of view. I really liked going there, as the track seemed to suit me very well and also the team, because Ferrari has won so many races there. But, when you build an F1 car, you build it to be good at every track, so wherever the championship starts you have to go there thinking of the victory and I will be concentrating on doing my best in Melbourne, even if the Albert Park circuit has not been a very successful venue for me, or a lucky one, as I’ve had a few accidents there. Last year was better as I got my best ever result here finishing third on the podium. I hope this time we can have a great start to the season in Australia and I am optimistic about our chances, based on the reliability we have shown so far and I can’t wait for us to measure up against the other teams and see where we stand.


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13 responses so far

  • Monday, 21 Mar 2011 12:15 by TIFF HYDE
    At last the season is about to begin! All the very best of luck Felipe, I have put my annual bet on you to win the WDC already, as I believe in you! I know you can win it, hopefully 2011 is finally your year. Stay safe, win races, keep smiling! Tiffany x
  • Monday, 21 Mar 2011 01:34 by Noe Izumi
    Hi,Felipe. This year is going to start and I wish you all the best. Your fans surely except this is really going to be your year, you're going to show at last what you're capable of. The best regards from Canary Islands, from one of your fans. Keep pushing forever.
  • Monday, 21 Mar 2011 04:31 by Rileey
    I hope you will have a good season and you can win the title! Forza Felipe! :)
  • Monday, 21 Mar 2011 11:28 by Carol Cross
    I can't wait for the season to begin. Everything has looked so positive in testing so I really hope this will carry through into the racing and ferrari will be right up there at the top. I hope the car will work really well for your driving style and you have a fantastic season. :)x
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 04:14 by Ashok
    Hi Felipe, Nice post to start of with mentioning in simple terms the changes this year... Hope to see you on the podium in Albert park setting the the tone for the season ahead... Wishing you the very best and the driver championship this year.... ( & rotten eggs on all those who wrote u off ) Ashok Your ardent fan from India....
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 09:15 by Ana458
    Forza Felipe. Forza Ferrari.
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 12:15 by Cathie
    Good luck Felipe!! Want to see you at the top of the podium this weekend, and all next races during this season! C.
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 06:21 by Alberto
    Forza Felipe!! Good luck to you for the season!
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 08:23 by Mark C.
    Can't wait Felipe, we're all behind you, I'm so anxious to get the season started, so I can't imagine how you guys feel. Thanks for the insight into your thoughts, it's all interesting! Grazie mille! FORZA FERRARI!
  • Thursday, 24 Mar 2011 09:56 by SziZita
    I was waiting for this moment for 4 months, finally it's here! Felipe, I will keep my fingers crossed for You during all season and I wish You all the luck and success You need to prove that You can be the best F1 driver in the world!!! Let's start with a win in Australia! Best wishes from ZITA
  • Friday, 25 Mar 2011 02:41 by V P
    Good luck for this season Felipe!We want to see you win the championship this year....hope you have a great season...:-)
  • Friday, 25 Mar 2011 03:38 by britton
    Good luck this weekend Felipe! Bring home 25 points for the team and most of all for yourself! Go win the WDC this year. You only deserve it if you want it, so want it, and win it! I'll be pulling for you! -britton
  • Friday, 25 Mar 2011 09:42 by denise
    This is going to be your year! good luck!



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