Felipe Massa says that he is both fit and confident ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, as he chases a first podium appearance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The Brazilian suffered two heavy impacts at Ste Devote during the Monaco weekend, but insists that, once initial muscle stiffness disappeared, there were no ill-effects to put a question mark over his participation in Montreal.
“I just felt a little bit of pain on my neck afterwards because two crashes on the same place, in the same direction, y'know?” he told the media, “But it was just muscles and it's fine. One hundred per cent fine.”
Such was the similarity between Massa's two accidents, which began on the start-finish straight and ended in the barriers at turn one, that initial suspicions suggested that the cause may have been the same. Massa, however, revealed that only one was down to the failure admitted to by Ferrari after the race.
“It looks really similar, if you look from the television, but it was a completely different accident,” the Brazilian said of his Sunday impact, “The first one, I just locked the wheels, went over the bumps and then I went straight. I hit the guardrail first and then I went straight. On the second one, I had a failure in the suspension, so it was two different accidents in the same place. The good thing is that I'm fine.”
The impact was the biggest for Massa since his return from serious injury in 2010, but the Brazilian played down suggestions that his new-found confidence may have been equally dented.
“For sure, no,” he insisted, “I'm one hundred per cent confident for here.
“It's completely different because I don't remember anything about my [Hungarian GP] accident and now I remember everything [about the two in Monaco]. But that wasn't the problem. I was fine, so I just got out of the car and it was no problem. I think, when you are okay, you don't have any problem, you just jump in the car and you go out again. It's completely different from 2009.”
Massa's return to early season form has helped secure four point-scoring finishes from the first six races – his only other miss being the tyre-related 15th in Bahrain – coincidentally propelling Ferrari into second place in the constructors' standings. The problems in Monaco, however, weren't just confined to the Brazilian, with team leader Fernando Alonso unable to challenge for the podium.
“We didn't have the weekend we expected in Monaco, so we're just looking forward to going back to a good weekend – for both me [and] Fernando, [and] for the team,” he said of the Canadian Grand Prix, “I think my best result [here] was fourth, but last year was pretty much in the right direction. I spun, but I was pretty quick during the weekend. I hope the car works well on this track and we can fight for another podium again.”