F1 » 27 July 2012
Massa: I won’t stay to make up numbers
Felipe Massa: I want to stay in F1, but it has to be in a situation where I am in F1 to race, not just to participate.
Felipe Massa has said he won't compete in F1 next season if he cannot secure a competitive drive.
Massa has struggled this year and while he has improved since Monaco and did particularly well at Silverstone, he had a race to forget in Germany last weekend, running into one of the Toro Rosso's on the run to turn one and breaking his front wing.
Although he has maintained he hopes to stay with Ferrari in 2013 and is hopeful he will be kept on if he performs like he did in Britain, a number of drivers have been linked to his seat and after re-signing for Red Bull recently, Mark Webber confirmed he had had talks with the Scuderia.
“I want to stay in F1, but it has to be in a situation where I am in F1 to race, not just to participate,” Massa said ahead of this Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, the eleventh round in the F1 2012 World Championship. “If for whatever reason, I don't have the chance to stay in Ferrari, then I will try and find a direction where I can race. But otherwise, small teams? I'm not interested.”
As for this weekend, Massa is determined to bounce back from his Hockenheim woes and do all he can to aid his team in the constructors' championship and help team-mate Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.
“Me having a clean race is what counts. I will do the best I can to be at the front end, to try to win but also to help Fernando the best I can for the championship,” he confirmed.
“Having said that, my aim has always to be the same, to try and beat Fernando and every other driver. That's what I look forward to when I drive and it's what any race driver must do, trying to win the race.
“But if the situation ever arose that I was leading a race and Fernando was behind me, I would know what to do, because I am a professional driver. And that would be the situation in any team.”
This weekend's race meanwhile marks the third anniversary of the Brazilian's life-threatening accident in qualifying at the Hungaroring when he was struck on the helmet by a piece of suspension that had flown off the Brawn GP of compatriot Rubens Barrichello. Massa, however, noted it is not something he dwells on when he returns to Budapest: “It was a difficult moment in my life and in my career, but it does not change anything in my mind when it comes to racing here again,” he explained.
“I don't think about it as I go through that point on the track and in fact, as I don't remember the accident itself, there is nothing for me to think about. What I do recall is that this is a place where I love to race and where I have always been quick and competitive. But always, something happened. Even in 2008, I had victory in my pocket but I had to stop three laps from the end.
“So for this year, I just want to have a clean weekend and if we can do that, then I think I can have a great race.
“I like this place, I like the people and since the accident, the people here seem to have developed more love for me and that gives me even more reason to do well,” he concluded.
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