Q & A with Felipe Massa
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, April 5th 2009, 14:21 GMT|
Q. Was it a good decision to not restart the race?
Felipe Massa: Well I think when the decisions come for the safety of the drivers, it is always good. We had a very difficult situation on the track, so when the decision is done because of safety we cannot be against it. I think it was a good decision.
Q. What were the last few laps like before the red flag?
FM: It was a nightmare. We could not stay on the track. At one stage I was going slower than the safety car, I could not go quicker. So it was impossible. I was fighting on the radio - asking for the safety car but it was not possible. And afterwards I was fighting to ask for the red flag. And then it came a little bit after. It was impossible to keep the car on the track. There were so many people going off.
Q. Your team changed Kimi Raikkonen onto wet tyres very early, before the rain. Did you have the same option?
FM: It was a mistake for sure. They bet on the rain and the rain did not come straight away. It came just a bit later. Then when I came into the pits, and I put the rain tyres, expecting as well the big rain, the rain stayed the same so it was raining very little. And the people on the intermediate were just flying.
I said, listen, if we stay three more laps like that it is enough already to use one stop – so maybe it would be better to stop and put on the intermediates. Otherwise we would be completely behind these guys. I put on the intermediates and then came the big rain. I needed to stop again and put on the rain tyres, so it was very difficult.
Q. Melbourne had a late start and here had a late start. In Australia there was a problem with the sun, and here we had a problem with the rain. What are your comments about this?
FM: You should either do the race in the night or do the race in the day. You cannot try to go in the middle. That is clear. I said before, and I think many people said it before [that there would be a problem], and now there is a clear message.
Q. Will you discuss this at GPDA level?
FM: We can, but I think maybe it is not the GPDA who need to change things – that is another meeting!
Q. Ferrari made two mistakes in two days. Do you think there is a problem?
FM: Yeah, for sure it is a problem. It is always a problem when you don't score points. So, for sure in this kind of race our aim is to score points, but it was not possible. Anyway, it is a bad result.
Q. Your team has had a terrible start. What do you do now to improve things for China?
FM: We need to start from zero. We need to get together to understand point by point what is going wrong. And, try to improve everything. That is the idea.
Q. Did KERS work well today?
FM: I did a great start. I passed from 16th to 12th straight away, so it helped me.
Q. Do you think something needs to be changed at Ferrari?
FM: No, I think we need to get together and we need to improve. We were not great before and stupid now. For sure the car is not strong enough. We need to work on that, and we did some mistakes on the strategy and this kind of thing. We need to get together and understand the problem, but as I said, we were not great in the past and stupid now. That is my point of view.
Q. It is the same situation for you as last year – zero points after two races. But how must hope do you have for the championship this time?
FM: For sure, last year we had a better car. It will be better to improve the situation and get in the fight again. This time we had a difficult car, so it will be a little bit more difficult. If something changes between this race and next race, then maybe we will have a chance.
Q. How vital for your championship is that diffuser ruling?
FM: You can see – no? I think everybody can see. The guys who have the diffuser have a lot more downforce. So it is completely difficult to fight with them. If we get a championship that is the same for everybody at the next race, then for sure it will be more competitive. But if we don't, then it will take quite a bit of time to have the diffuser on our car, so it will be very difficult.