SPAIN GP: Felipe Massa about Qualifying sesion - FORMULA 1


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Saturday, May 9, 2009

SPAIN GP: Felipe Massa about Qualifying sesion

t's been a troubled started to the 2009 season for Felipe Massa, with the Brazilian having failed to score a point in the first four races of the season. However, there was a smile back on the face of the Brazilian in Spain on Saturday when he put his improved F60 on the second row of the grid for Sunday's race.

Clearly delighted with the improvements made to the F60, which includes the introduction of a double-decker diffuser, he spoke to the press about the progress made.

Q. Jenson Button said in the FIA press conference that there could be 'mayhem' at the first corner tomorrow, given the speed of your cars with KERS. How do you see that run down to the first corner unfolding? Could it be a bit awkward?
Felipe MassaFelipe Massa: Well, overtaking three cars like this is not so easy. I am very happy to have the KERS for the start tomorrow, in a reasonably good position. I am on the dirty side as well, so it won't be easy. Let's see what is going to happen at the start. Let's see how good our car can start, compared to the others. And the most important thing also is to think about the race. I think we can have a reasonable good pace in the race, and that for sure is a good boost and a good motivation for the race tomorrow.

Q. Has the improvement in the speed of the car this weekend given you a transformed feeling about the season ahead? Perhaps a feeling of fighting for podiums, wins and even the championship?
FM: I think now at least we have the same car, the same regulation, as the guys in front. Although not everybody, because of Red Bull, but it includes Brawn and some other teams that had this since the first race - whereas we didn't.

I have to say my car is a completely different car to drive compared to what I had in the first four races. The car is much more stable, it is a huge improvement in the high speed, a huge improvement with braking stability, so now I can drive much more the way I like – more aggressive and for sure we made a lot of lap time like that. I think that is a big improvement to show that we can improve even more.

But in the season, I think we still have some development going on. I think that we are now in the right direction. It may be too late, but we will not lose our motivation to fight for the podium or for victories. And I am ready for that.

Q. What do you believe the picture is now? How much did Ferrari improve with the car, and how much is still missing to the Brawns and the Red Bulls?
FM: I think you need to look maybe to Q1 and Q2 – which was everybody on low fuel. But also you cannot forget that in the race, which is the most important thing. Some cars have more degradation and some cars not. So I think we maybe miss a couple of tenths on this track, but on race pace they may also be quite strong.

So maybe we are still missing a couple of tenths which makes a lot in the race – a little bit in qualifying but a lot in the race. But looking at the development we had here, looking at the improvement we made here, a couple of tenths is quite possible for the next development. The others are not sleeping, they are working very hard, and we need to take that into consideration.

Q. While qualifying was good for you, it was quite disappointing for Kimi. Do you feel sympathy for him, as it was quite a costly error?
FM: Yes. I think this is quite difficult. It is quite bad for us, because I had the same in Malaysia. So, he didn't have a good lap in Q1 and he was supposed to go back out with another set of tyres, but I don't know what happened as I just arrived and came straight here, so I did not speak to the people. For sure it is not very good to have one car there and the other one not.

Q. How much of a better feeling do you have driving this car compared to the old one?
FM: I don't know if I will have a car to win the race, but I will at least have a car with which I can fight – and that gives a lot of motivation. With the motivation, you have the power to know you are not there just to race, you are there to fight. That is very good for the head of a driver, it is good for myself. I'm not there just to race now, I am there to fight for the victory. It is always good to come here and be more competitive.

Q. The team made the same mistake today with Kimi that it did in Malaysia with you. Does it worry you that the team does the same mistake again?
FM: Yes, you worry for sure. We need to work and try not to make this mistake. It is not a good thing for us, and we need to not repeat that kind of mistake. What do you want me to say? I am worried as I said...