F1 » 19 April 2012
Massa eager to get off mark in Bahrain
Felipe Massa encouraged after China weekend
Felipe Massa has set his sights on notching up his first points of the season in Bahrain this weekend.
Massa was encouraged by his form in China, even though he only finished 13th, and the Brazilian believes that if the 'positive trend' from Shanghai continues at the BIC he should be able to break into the top-ten.
“On Sunday in Shanghai, I finally managed to have a 'normal' race, the first of the year that went off without any particular problems,” Massa wrote in his blog on the Scuderia's official website. “Over the weekend there, things steadily got better: I was struggling with the balance of the car in all three free practice sessions and then the situation suddenly improved in qualifying, to such an extent that my gap to Fernando [Alonso – my team-mate] was considerably reduced.
“Then, in the race, the car was even better, but I found myself in traffic too often and was not able to make the most of the strategy I was on. A shame, as it would have been nice to finally move off the horrible zero points mark in the classification. So, that is clearly what I plan to do this weekend, by finishing the race in the top ten.
“If the positive trend that began in Shanghai continues, then it should be possible. It's true that, on paper, the track characteristics do not seem that suited to the F2012, but it will be important to make the best use of the tyres, which is the real key to success here and at some other tracks too.”
Massa has a good record in Bahrain and admits the Sakhir circuit is one of his favourites: “It's not by chance that I've won here twice along with a second place too,” he continued. “Of my eleven wins, no less than eight of them have all come from just three circuits: three at Istanbul, two at Interlagos and the same number here at Sakhir. These tracks are very different to one another, so it can't be said there is some sort of technical reason behind these statistics.
“However, let's just say that, if only for reasons of bad luck, I would have been disappointed if this race had been cancelled, given that already this year, there is no Turkish Grand Prix.”
Meanwhile he reiterated hopes the race will 'be an occasion for unity, as should be the case with any sporting event'.
“From what I have seen today, the situation seems calm: on the journey from the airport to the hotel, it all seemed just as it did two years ago and according to the guys I spoke to by phone at the track, everything is going on as usual on a Wednesday at a race outside Europe.
“If the decision was taken to keep the race on the calendar, it means that the conditions are right to do so and from what we have seen so far, there is nothing to oppose that view,” he added.
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