Felipe Massa returns to the Hungaoring today a little over a year after he left the circuit in a medical helicopter after his qualifying crash.
This week he’s also been making a point of visiting some of the medical staff who helped him last year.
“I think it’s a very special place, because of what happened with me there last year,” he explained at Hockenheim last week. “So I’m really looking forward to going back there for the race weekend. But also for good personal feelings, to go back to the hospital, to see the people that took good care of me, who did a good job. So I’m really looking forward to going there and saying hello to everybody, and making a nice conversation, a nice feeling with them.”
He admitted it would be an empotional experience: “Because it’s an important part of my life. What happened last year was a very big thing on my life, so it is very, very special. Talking about the life point of view.”
Meanwhile after his frustration in Germany Massa has to now prove his point on the track by outpacing his team mate. He has gone well in Hungary in the past – he was quick before the crash last year – and it will be fascinating to see if he can bounce back.
“I think in the races that we have the very hard tyres I was performing much worse than I can, you know, because I was never able to make the tyres work. When we had the soft tyres I was reasonably happy.
“For sure I was trying deinitely to change my driving style, because the driving style makes the tyres hotter, or colder, it’s true. I am a driver that needs a lot the front grip on the car, I prefer a better front grip. Even if I have a bit of oversteer and the front is working, you can work to improve the rear.
“But anyway that’s the way I used to drive until now, and this year with the narrower tyres, very hard tyres, it’s very difficult for me. Many people like to talk just about me, but many, many drivers are having similar problems this year, I’m not the only one. But people always talk about me, so that’s it.”
For more on Felipe Massa and the Hockenheim controversy check the www.autosport.com features section later today.