Massa's Blog

“Ferrari, returning to the form we expect”

August 4, 2010 · Posted by Felipe Massa
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I am back home in Brazil now for the summer break, having flown out of Budapest on Sunday night. It is good to be home after what was one of the busiest months I can remember in my time in Formula 1 and thankfully, it ended with a couple of good results that suggest Ferrari is returning to the form that we expect.

I think the Hungarian race result was about the best we could have hoped for, for several reasons; the pace of the Red Bulls, the fact the track is well known for not providing any overtaking opportunities and finally the fact I had a bit of bad luck in losing a place to Lewis (Hamilton) at the pit stop, when the Safety Car came out. But the luck swung back my way later on, when Lewis had an issue with his car and had to retire, which put me back to what you could call the “normal” position of fourth, which is where I had started from on the grid.

At the time, we opted for a double pit stop, with me coming in after Fernando, so why did we do this, instead of do what the winner Mark Webber did and just keep going on the soft tyres for longer? What Webber did was right, but only because of the pace he had in his car which allowed him to build up enough of a lead to pit without losing first place. This was the only reason and it would not have worked for us. Our double pit stop worked perfectly, because when I arrived at the garage, Fernando had already left and I only lost the place to Lewis because that can sometimes happen in the pits. Even with the double pit stop, I had the chance to fight for my position. To be honest, it was the right strategic decision.

In Germany, we seemed to have the fastest car and just a few days later, Red Bull were in a different league to all the other teams. They have nearly always been fastest, apart maybe from Bahrain and then Hockenheim. It is mainly related to the nature of the track. In Germany we and they qualified in much the same time and then we were quicker in the race, but in Hungary they were 1.2 seconds faster, which suggests to me that in Hockenheim they underperformed. Budapest was an important weekend for me on a personal level. Going back there after what happened a year ago and meeting the people in the circuit medical centre, who did such a fantastic job of getting me out of the car, in the ambulance and then into the helicopter was a great feeling. On Thursday I had dinner with the surgeon who operated on me and did an excellent job and all of this was something really special in my life. On track, I never thought about it when I was going through that corner, although I appreciated seeing the banners that some of the fans had in the grandstands with messages like “Welcome Back Felipe.” That was a nice gesture.

Now we have a long break, which means three weekends without racing and even though the momentum has picked up for Ferrari in the last couple of weeks, I am happy to have this pause. It is important for us drivers to have a rest after such a busy schedule in recent weeks and it is especially important for everyone in the team, who have worked so hard. I will be spending it at home with my family here in Brazil, relaxing and spending time with my son, which actually is quite a full time job!

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