Felipe Massa: “We need to turn the page…”

Felipe Massa hopes that he can overcome the problems he suffered in Australia after Ferrari built up its spare chassis for his use in an attempt to resolve the balance problems that afflicted him.

The Brazilian qualified a disastrous 16th in Melbourne, and retired after clumsy contact with Bruno Senna’s Williams.

“We need to turn the page after Australia and start again from zero,” said the Brazilian in Malaysia today. “And that is what we are planning for this race, which I hope will get off to a good start.

“This is not the first time that I have had a difficult race, there have been many. But one always has to look to the next one and this weekend will be only the second of the championship, so there is still time. As for Melbourne, it’s true I have never had a weekend where the car has felt so bad right from the first day. The car was not working the way it should and after just a few laps, the tyres were gone, but this was not a problem with the tyres, it was caused by the car’s lack of balance.

“We are changing the chassis for this race and I think it is the right thing to do. Every time I drove this car during winter testing I never had any of the problems I had from the first day in Australia. The day after Fernando drove the same car in Barcelona for example, there was never anything strange or different in terms of lap times, race pace or tyre degradation.

“Then you arrive in Australia and see that everything is different, so changing the chassis is definitely the right thing to do. But it’s not just the chassis that is changed for here, as we are replacing many of the components.

“Even if we are changing the chassis and other parts, the car is still the same car in development terms that we had in Melbourne. We have to try this to get the most out of it, even if we are not where we ought to be in terms of performance compared to others. I hope this track will suit the car better.”

Massa said he was unconcerned about media criticism: “To be honest, I really don’t care. I never drove depending on what others think or say about me. I just do my job thinking about trying to do the best I can in the car. When I arrived here in 2008, people were saying I was out of Ferrari, because I did not finish in Australia and then I did not finish here and it went on to become my best season. Things can change very quickly from one day to the next. The only thing I care about is to have the car I know from winter testing.”

Meanwhile Massa’s former team mate Michael Schumacher was keen to offer some moral support today.

“If I look at all the winter testing I think it was very clear that the two drivers were very close together,” said Schumacher. “If you look at the optimum lap time achieved in the Barcelona tests, it’s again very close. So to see the big difference that we saw in Melbourne, I can only assume there must have been something not right for him.

“He’s been around for so long. He’s been fighting for the championship in 2008, he’s always been up front so I don’t see any reason why he should not be capable of doing so in the future. I trust he will do so, and that the team will do their utmost to give him the support that he needs.”


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6 responses to “Felipe Massa: “We need to turn the page…”

  1. So since Massa joined Ferrari in 2006, has any driver not been linked to his seat? Off the top of my head I can think of Raikkonen, Rossi, Alonso, Rosberg, Button, Webber, Perez, Trulli, Sutil, Kubica etc.

    Much of Massa’s career has been fighting back the critics, so hopefully he can do this again in the next few races.

  2. DMyers

    I’m sorry, but I think Massa is finished. He’s a lovely man and I was overjoyed when he was World Champion for about fifteen seconds, but he isn’t the same driver he once was. Whether that’s a result of his injury, the arrival of Alonso, something else or a combination of factors, I don’t know. I will, however, be very surprised if he sees out the season in a Ferrari.

  3. Stone the Crows

    Ferrari have done everything they possibly could for Massa and then some. He is dearly loved at the Scuderia for sure, but he is going to have deliver more than a good performance to keep his job.

  4. Adam Kelly

    Unrelated subject here but you were the first to make a statement about Joe Seward being appointed a Director at Caterham. Out of interest when did this occur? Recently one assumes.

    He has managed to make a real pigs ear out of it by not disclosing things on his blog, you might want to check the comements in entry “The end of a bitter row?”

    The situation is bad because he disclosed it in the Blog rules, which is OK BUT he did not draw attention to his readers to the change, it is captioned rules and not disclosure and is hidden on the page (along with the search box) until a mouse passes over the banner at the top.

    After reading your comment on speed web page I asked him to comment in another story he posted last week. He did not comment and my comment did not make it through his moderation.
    This sure looks like a cover up, especially when he says he is an advisor and does not touch operational aspects of 1 for conflicts, but what does that really mean?

    As the person who disclosed it in the first place I would ask that you ask Joe personally to make a statement and publish the response for all to see. This is a story and he needs to set the record straight and not appear to be hiding something.

    • It’s on the public record that he and David Tremayne got their directorships on November 30 last year. I wasn’t the first one to notice – the story had been floating around the net for a few days before Australia. I have no idea what his role is as I have not discussed it with him, but the consensus among my colleagues is that while he is free to do what he wants he has put himself in a slightly awkward position and inevitably it will affect how he is regarded in the paddock.

  5. ronmon

    My guess is that they are doing this to eliminate any excuses he has given. I agree that he’s a very nice guy, but F1 is about performance and he hasn’t delivered for a long while. If he doesn’t close the gap to Alonso after this gesture from the team, I would assume he’s on the way out by year’s end at the latest.

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