Felipe Massa says it is important for Ferrari to finish the European leg of the F1 season with a strong result in front of the tifosi
this weekend at Monza.
So far this season, Ferrari has taken a sole victory thanks to Fernando Alonso in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone although Massa had yet to make it onto the podium in the sister car with a best finish of fifth.
With Ferrari's on-going tyre issues having reared their head at Spa last time out thanks to the colder conditions encountered in Belgium, the team goes into its home race hoping for warmer conditions in order to push towards the front of the field.
“This is a very important weekend for us,” he wrote in his blog on Ferrari's website. “Not in the sense of it being a last chance for us this year or anything like that, but because we really want to produce a great result for ourselves, for the team and most of all for the fans. Spa was not fantastic for us and the cold weather accentuated our tyre problems, but this weekend, we have the same tyre compounds but hopefully much hotter weather. We will need a car with good top speed.
“Like all the teams, we will have a low downforce set-up unique to Monza, with small wings and in free practice you need to make sure the car is well balanced with good traction to pull out of the slow chicanes and that it is able to deal with jumping the kerbs, which is vital for a quick lap time, especially in qualifying.”
Monza will be the third circuit this season to feature a double DRS zone but unlike Canada and Valencia, the two zones will be at separate parts of the track rather than back-to-back as was the case in the two previous races where the FIA has tried out two DRS zones.
With the circuit being one where overtaking is already possible thanks to the slip-stream effect, Massa said he expected plenty of overtaking during the weekend, with DRS only set to increase the excitement for fans watching on.
“I think we will see a lot of overtaking, because of the high speed nature of the track and the fact we will have two zones where we can use the DRS,” he said. “I'm not saying it will be an advantage to be lying second coming into Parabolica on the last lap to overtake the car in front, because if you have a good car, it's probably a better strategy to pass before then and pull out a gap that is bigger than one second. However, if you are fighting right down to the last lap, that could be the case, which would make for a very exciting race.
“At this point of the season, it is not difficult to predict that Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren and of course Red Bull Racing will be the main contenders. However, Mercedes have shown they have possibly the best top speed on the straight out of all of us and as that is so important at this circuit, they could also have some influence on the final result.”