Q & A with Felipe Massa

Q. What happened in qualifying?

Q & A with Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa: Well, actually I went straight away on a new set of softs. I didn't do a perfect lap, I did a reasonable lap, but not a perfect lap. I went wide on the first lap in Turn 14 and then I improved on the second timed lap by two tenths. The team thought it was enough to be inside the top 15 and maybe I thought as well, to be honest, because when I got back to the pits I was fourth.

I stayed in the top seven for a while, but then when I started to drop it was impossible to go out again because there was no time to do another lap. Maybe the track improved a lot as well, with the temperature going down many people improved. We just thought it was enough to get in the top 15 and it wasn't so we dropped completely.

Maybe the past is still very fresh in our mind where we had a very competitive car and it was always easy to go out in first qualifying on the hard tyre or whatever and be in the top 10. Now it's not that easy anymore. Now we need to be able to use our tyres in qualifying because that's the only way to pass every session.

Q. Is this a wake-up call?

FM: Definitely. We had already a wake-up call in the first race and after this qualifying we learned just a little bit more that we are not as competitive as we expected. We have other teams that a little bit in front. We couldn't use the hard tyres, that's why we chose the soft straight away because the hard tyres would not work for us.

They need two or three laps to warm. Some teams, especially three teams, can warm up the tyres very quickly because we have the downforce that they don't have. That's the reason for us to maybe take this strategy and it was not very nice.

Q. Where did you expect to be?

FM: Well, this morning I thought maybe it would have been possible to fight for the top five, but looking at qualifying I think that it was possible to be top seven. Clearly it was worse than what we expected. If you look at the end of the qualifying, Kimi was maybe nine tenths behind Jenson, so it was quite a big gap.

Q. Have you got any experience of driving with KERS in the wet?

FM: Yes. It's normal. The only thing is that you don't use the KERS coming out of the slow corners like you do in the dry, you use it when you have the traction.

Q. Is there someone to blame for this?

FM: As I said, maybe the past is very fresh in our mind so everybody including myself because I didn't believe that I was going to drop out of the top 15. After the qualifying I thought maybe I could go to 11th or 12th, but not to 16th. I blame everybody. I blame me, I blame the engineers, I blame everybody that was working on the pit looking at the laptimes. It was a team mistake, including myself. But it was a huge wake up call that we need to use everything we have because every session is difficult.

Q. Are you praying for rain?

FM: The rain can be a lottery so it can be good. If it's raining maybe we have an extra possibility to have a great race. We'll see. I hope we can have a good pace in the race and can gain many positions.

shares
comments
Strategic error to blame for Massa exit

Previous article

Strategic error to blame for Massa exit

Next article

Malaysia Saturday quotes: Force India

Malaysia Saturday quotes: Force India
Load comments
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021