F1 »

Massa: I am exactly the same driver as in 2008

Ferrari star Felipe Massa has defended his form in F1 2011 to-date, insisting that whilst he has 'not got the results', he remains 'exactly the same' driver as the one who came within a whisker of lifting the F1 crown three years ago
Felipe Massa has defended his performances in F1 2011 to-date, arguing that whilst he has been roundly outpaced by Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso in the qualifying stakes, he has 'not exactly been slow' and is still 'exactly the same' driver as he was prior to his life-threatening accident midway through 2009.

Massa did not get the better of Alonso on a Saturday afternoon this season until the Hungarian Grand Prix just prior to the summer break – although he maintained that supremacy in qualifying for last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, too – but worse still, he has been routinely shown up by the two-time F1 World Champion come race day, and on seven of the nine occasions on which both drivers have taken the chequered flag, it has been the Spaniard ahead.

Massa entered the current campaign under pressure to perform off the back of a disappointing 2010, and with the strict instruction to raise his game or else see his seat at the Scuderia come under threat. There remain no victories – none since the Interlagos finale of 2008, in fact, when the home hero so famously won the race but agonisingly lost the championship almost within the same breath – and there have not even been any podium finishes this year. Alonso, by contrast, has tallied six.

There are those who claim the Brazilian has never been the same since that fateful day at the Hungaroring two summers back – and others that his form has similarly been dimmed by the birth of his first child Felipinho several months later – but the man himself is adamant that 'nothing' has changed.

“Well, it's simple,” the 30-year-old told Spanish newspaper El Pais. “Fernando has been far better than me in that area (qualifying) – but I am working to turn around the situation and, in any case, I have not exactly been slow.

“I am exactly the same [as in 2008]. It is true that I have not got the results since then, but I have the same ambition and determination. Both things (his Hungarian accident and fatherhood) give you a lot of experience, but none of it affects me when I get into the car. Then, you do not remember anything. In the car, I forget about my son, my wife, my father and mother. Michael [Schumacher] won many titles as a parent, so people talk about it too much – although it is true that these two years have been the most intense of my life.”

Going on to underline his conviction that he still has what it takes to triumph at the highest level – firing back that 'if I didn't think that, I would go home' – Massa added that even if his own chances of title glory this year are now dead-and-buried and Alonso's fast fading, it remains 'important to focus on the present', whilst naturally preparing to 'do better' in 2012.

“We are not expecting many changes in the regulations (between 2011 and 2012),” the Paulista reasoned, “so it is crucial to finish the season with a competitive car. Next year, the position of the exhaust changes, but not the [other] aerodynamics; the cars will be an evolution of these ones – so it's worth it to stay focussed.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.08.2011- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 1, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
30.07.2011 Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
29.07.2011 Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
30.07.2011 Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 1, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
27.08.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
22.08.2014- Press conference, Dave Greenwood (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Race Engineer
22.08.2014- Press conference, John Iley (GBR) Caterham F1 Team Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, James Allison (GBR) Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, Dave Greenwood (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Race Engineer
22.08.2014- Press conference, Rob Smedley (GBR) Williams Head of Vehicle Performance
22.08.2014- Press conference, Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Taz - Unregistered

September 01, 2011 1:24 PM

I'm sure he's convinced but many aren't, me included. He's definitely improved recently but Alonso is a much better all round driver (grumpiness aside). He won't win the WDC while Alonso is a Ferrari.

Googolplex

September 01, 2011 1:39 PM

I agree Taz. He says the right things, but I just don't sense there is the hunger, intensity and steely focus that is required. He often seems to have a sad sanguine look about him. Perhaps he still has "Fernando is faster than you" ringing in his ears.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.