Q & A with Felipe Massa
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, July 10th 2009, 08:49 GMT|
After a torrid first half of the season, Felipe Massa is aware that he can't take for granted that Ferrari will be back on top next year.
That's why he is urging the team to work flat out to make sure it solves its problems for 2010.
Q. How strange for you that the focus has already shifted to next year, even though we are only at the halfway point of this one?
Felipe Massa: Well, for sure, sometimes it looks a little bit strange to have a driver already thinking about next year. But I am not thinking about next year, I am thinking about doing the best I can in the second part of this season. I know even if we win all the races we will not be the champions, so as a driver I want to get back to the fight for the championship.
To be honest, I am very worried to prepare a very, very competitive car for next year, so that is why I am pushing very hard for next year in terms of development, but I know that maybe after four or five races, maybe even less, we will not have anything new on this car. Sometimes it is hard to accept, but it is better to do it this way.
Q. In this kind of situation, is it possible to take pleasure as a Ferrari driver on a grand prix weekend?
FM: Well, I finished fourth in the last race and I was happy because it was the best result I could achieve, starting from 11th. That is for sure a pleasure, when you see that you took the best out of the car, when you see that you did the best you could - even more. It also gives you a reason to be happy.
Q. You are one of the only teams to be running KERS. Is it still an advantage?
FM: Well, for our car yes. If we take away the KERS you can do everything you want in terms of weight distribution, but you lose three tenths. In our car we need to use the KERS, so that is the only reason to still fight with some of the others. That is why we still need to use the KERS. Next year when we build a brand new car, starting from zero and not thinking about KERS, that is a different story.
Q. Have you come to terms with the fact you are unlikely to win a race this season?
FM: I didn't say we weren't going to win, I said I didn't know. Nobody knows. I will try everything I can to win a race, but I have my feet on the ground. I know things are not going to be easy, so that is why it is difficult to say we are going to fight for victory. I am not going to say anything like that if I am not sure that we have the car able to fight for victory. For the moment I cannot say that.
Q. Fernando Alonso says he has no doubts big teams like Ferrari, Renault and McLaren will be back at the front of the field next year. Would you agree?
FM: Well I hope. We need to work, as we cannot say that next year we will be back. We need to work for that. We know the other people know a lot about what they are doing, and they know how to make a competitive car. That is why I am very keen also to give good opinions about next year's car. I am ready to do a big, big job this season on next year's car, and also next year. That is why I am pushing hard. I don't have to say it though; I prefer to work together with the team and hopefully next year getting a competitive car to be able to fight for the championship.
Q. Two years ago you were fighting with Fernando Alonso here for victory. How much do you miss these times?
FM: You are talking about two years ago, but last year I fight to the last race for the championship. Two years ago is already a long time ago. For sure I miss the fight for the first position, but what can I do? You need to have the possibility to fight for the front, but if you don't have the possibility then you know you are going to be fighting a little bit at the back.
I miss the fight for the first position, the fight for the championship, but we need to keep working. You don't know what is coming next year, as nobody expected that Jenson Button would be first in the championship right now. So many things can change in F1.