28 January 2010
Massa confident despite shakedown cancellation
Felipe Massa is looking forward to the 2010 F1 season, despite seeing his scheduled shakedown of Ferrari's F10 canned at Fiorano.
Felipe Massa's anticipated shakedown of Ferrari's new F10 grand prix challenger may have fallen foul of the weather at Fiorano, but the Brazilian remained positive on all aspects of the season ahead.
The Brazilian had been due to give the new car its first laps following Thursday morning's unveiling at Maranello, but the team deemed that conditions weren't right for the debut, leaving Massa to discuss the coming campaign with the media.
Unsurprisingly, following his horrific accident in qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix last summer, the new father is eager to return to competition - something many thought impossible six months ago - and is keen to see how Ferrari's prolonged work on F10 has paid off.
“Many things happened in 2009, resulting in difficult conditions for us to work on the car," he reflected, "What we can see here today is the result of many months of hard work on the car, so let's hope that we'll be competitive right from the start.
"We started very early thinking about 2010. We were asking for many modifications, not just regarding aerodynamics, but also the engine and the tank. Everything was really important considering the 2010 rules. What's very important is that every single detail can bring tenths of a second."
Although the basic rules are little changed over 2009, which saw a dramatic redesign of every car on the grid, some tinkering has led to element changes, with longer chassis required to house bigger fuel tanks, and bigger brakes fitted to deal with heavier cars at the start of races. There has also been amendment to the way points are allocated to the increased field, but Massa believes that the Scuderia will take all these in hand and come out fighting from the opening race in Bahrain.
“We'll start with less petrol into the weekend, while we will start into the race with enough petrol for the whole distance, then there are other details, such as the points assigned to the first and second in the races," he noted, "Having all these changes in mind, we have to pay a lot of attention and learn rapidly in terms of strategy and, as far as I am concerned, regarding driving the car to be immediately competitive.“
Competition within the camp should not be a problem, with new team-mate Fernando Alonso determined to chase a third world title after escaping from the floundering Renault squad.
“The expectations as far as my team-mate is concerned are something I've been living for many years now," Massa commented, referring to his partnerships with Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, "When there's a new driver at Ferrari, there are great expectations and the goal is to work well as a team, to be complete. I'll have a very strong team-mate. I've always done good work, learned a lot, shown many times that I'm able to win and fight, whoever my team-mate was.”
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