Felipe Massa has said that only a 'crazy job' will deny Sebastian Vettel a second straight F1 title, although the Brazilian insists that Ferrari won't be giving up as it seeks to deny the German and his Red Bull team in the title race.
Vettel currently holds a 77 point lead in the drivers championship over team-mate Mark Webber and McLaren's Jenson Button, with Fernando Alonso the best placed Ferrari man a further 22 points back. Red Bull meanwhile head McLaren by 89 points in the constructors' championship with Ferrari a whopping 166 points behind after just eight races.
Speaking ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, Massa admitted that the championship titles were very much Red Bull's to lose but said Ferrari couldn't give up hope and would continue to fight hard for victories.
“There has been a lot of discussion about whether Ferrari's championship chances are already over this early in the season,” he said. “I don't know the answer to that, but will still tackle every race in the same way, trying to win it. Getting the first win of the season is our immediate task and then trying to win more. Only at the end of the year, should we look at the championship situation.
“Realistically, Sebastian Vettel would need to do a really crazy job to lose the title. But we cannot give up and this situation changes nothing in our approach, because a victory is already a very nice thing to have and some wins this year would show we have done a good job. We must not forget that improving the car and its performance can also be important for 2012, because there are not so many rule changes coming which means that the car will not change completely compared to this year. A good car now and at the final race of 2011 is already a good step forward for 2012.”
Massa added that he was hopeful that Ferrari would continue the progress made in recent races when action gets underway at Silverstone, even though Pirelli is taking the hard compound tyre that proved to be problematic for the team in Barcelona earlier in the season.
"I expect we will be competitive, but we must wait and see how the car works at a type of track where, earlier in the year, we were not so competitive," he said. "The reason this is important is that, if we are competitive in England, then it confirms we have improved a lot and have reduced the gap to the other teams.
"We will also see how much we have improved our performance with the hard Pirelli tyres, which we have not used them since Barcelona. We will also have the soft tyre in Silverstone as the option and that is a good thing, because it means we have a tyre that suits us well for qualifying and maybe for a major part of the race as well. Unless we get some typical British weather and it rains, in which case I believe we can also be in good shape, as we were quick in those conditions in Canada.”