Massa: "at Ferrari, you expect a strong team-mate"
Sepang, 1 April -- Only a few days after the race in Albert Park, the Formula 1 routine got underway again in Malaysia, as Felipe Massa met the media in the Sepang paddock. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver began with an
assessment of the opening two rounds. "We did not have the fastest car for the first two races, but the whole team did a good job," began the Brazilian. "In the first race we were quick enough to qualify at the front and in the second race we had our cars third and fifth on the grid, but we were not quickest in terms of overall race pace. We made up for that by being more reliable than the quickest and, in a 19 race championship, while of course it is important to be fast, you also need to be consistent and reliable. That means we must now work on improving performance on the F10 and we have some ideas on which way we need to go, for example improving the level of downforce and we are working very hard on that."
Pit stops are much quicker this year, since refuelling is banned and the Ferrari man was asked about the Scuderia's performance in this area. "I am very happy with the pit stop in Bahrain, whereas the one in Australia was not so good and I also lost time with traffic, which meant I lost two places. Maybe without that, I could have left the pits ahead of Button. We need to keep working on this and although we have not yet used the traffic light signal system, we are keeping an open mind and considering the possibility of using it."
You can never say that Massa has had no opposition from within his own team, having been paired in the past with two world champions, so how does he feel being up against another title holder? "When you race for Ferrari, you expect to have a strong team-mate, as the team has always had good drivers. This is my fifth championship with Ferrari and I have learned a lot working with Michael and Kimi, but I also did a great job myself, working with the team and we must continue in that direction, now that I have a new team-mate in Fernando."
As for this weekend, Felipe is looking forward to another good fight. "I hope we can beat the Red Bulls and all the other cars in fact. It will be tough, because, as I said this is a very challenging circuit, which is difficult from the physical point of view. I like it though, because it has high speed corners and quick changes of direction and it can be tough on tyres, which means we will need to have a good set-up to help us look after them."