Massa optimistic of step forward
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, June 16th 2009, 11:30 GMT|
Felipe Massa is confident that aerodynamic updates and the introduction of a lighter chassis will help lift the performance of Ferrari at this weekend's British Grand Prix.
Although the Brazilian and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing time in Turkey a fortnight ago, he is sure that the high-speed Silverstone track should suit the team's improved car better.
"On paper, this weekend's British Grand Prix takes place at a track with some similarities to the last race in Istanbul, where we were not so competitive," said Massa, who conducted an aerodynamic shakedown at Fiorano on Monday.
"This weekend's track also features fast corners, flowing sections and a final slow sector and we will have the same two types of tyre from Bridgestone, but that doesn't mean I think we will struggle as much as we did a fortnight ago.
"For a start, the new components we have on the car this weekend, including a front wing and a lighter chassis, should make us more competitive."
Massa believes that progress should be guaranteed because the team realises the mistakes that it made in Istanbul.
"In Turkey we went backwards over the course of the weekend, after being very competitive on Friday and on Saturday morning. We now know why that happened, which is the most important thing: we believe that with the very high track temperatures, we ran too low on the downforce and should have run with more rear wing, because as the temperature rises, the grip from the tyres went down and we needed to compensate for that.
"As the temperature gradually got higher, our cars were running slower and slower in the first sector of the track; the one where you need the most downforce. In other words, the problem we had was related to the way we worked, rather than any specific fault on the car.
"So I think we can be more competitive this weekend, with these changes to the car."
For the Silverstone race, the team will introduce aero modifications as well as suspension changes to help weight distribution and a new, lighter KERS.