Massa pins hopes on warmer weather for strong Italian Grand Prix
|By Pablo Elizalde||Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 11:40 GMT|
Felipe Massa is hoping higher track temperatures will help Ferrari enjoy a strong home race following a difficult Belgian Grand Prix.
The Italian squad endured a disappointing race at Spa as it struggled to get the best out of its tyres due to the low temperatures during the weekend.
Although the same tyre compounds will be used at Monza this weekend, Massa is hoping the warmer weather will make Ferrari much more competitive.
"Of course this is a very important weekend for us," Massa wrote on Ferrari's website.
"Not in the sense of it being a last chance for us this year or anything like that, but because we really want to produce a great result for ourselves, for the team and most of all for the fans.
"Spa was not fantastic for us and the cold weather accentuated our tyre problems, but this weekend, we have the same tyre compounds but hopefully much hotter weather. We will need a car with good top speed.
"Like all the teams, we will have a low downforce set-up unique to Monza, with small wings and in free practice you need to make sure the car is well balanced with good traction to pull out of the slow chicanes and that it is able to deal with jumping the kerbs, which is vital for a quick lap time, especially in qualifying."
He added: "Monza is our last weekend of racing in Europe this year and, because this season has not gone so well for us, it will be even more important to do our job perfectly and try and get the result that we and all the tifosi want and deserve."
The Brazilian is also predicting plenty of passing during this weekend's race due to the nature of the very fast Monza circuit.
"I think we will see a lot of overtaking, because of the high speed nature of the track and the fact we will have two zones where we can use the DRS," Massa said.
"I'm not saying it will be an advantage to be lying second coming into Parabolica on the last lap to overtake the car in front, because if you have a good car, it's probably a better strategy to pass before then and pull out a gap that is bigger than one second.
"However, if you are fighting right down to the last lap, that could be the case, which would make for a very exciting race. At this point of the season, it is not difficult to predict that Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren and of course Red Bull Racing will be the main contenders.
"However, Mercedes have shown they have possibly the best top speed on the straight out of all of us and as that is so important at this circuit, they could also have some influence on the final result."