6 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: Massa: This is a very important race for me
Felipe Massa needs a good result in Italy to help press his case for another year at Ferrari in 2014.
Felipe Massa has admitted that the outcome of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix could have a bearing on his future with Ferrari.
The Scuderia may have said that it has no intention of making a driver announcement during its home race, but that does not mean that the pressure is off, and Massa, who has been under threat almost every season since his horrific 2009 accident at the Hungaroring, knows that his time may be up without a big result at Monza.
The Brazilian currently lies seventh in the world championship standings, but 84 points off Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, with Ferrari third overall – and 96 points – behind Red Bull in the constructors' series.
“I definitely need a good race,” Massa conceded, “Good results are always important, so I'll just concentrate on that. There is a big opportunity to carry on with Ferrari, so I just need to concentrate, trying to do the best we can over the car and that's what I'm looking for.”
While Ferrari has yet to comment on its options, Massa potentially faces opposition from Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg, but hopes that the team will opt for continuity as F1 heads into a new technological era in 2014.
“You cannot forget that Ferrari knows me very well - it's the team that knows me most,” he pointed out, “We know how important next year is as well. Everything starts from zero: different car, different rules, everything, so the driver's experience is important as well.
“Sometimes you just look at the results of the race, [but] that's not what counts the most. I think it's everything together. But it's always important to do the maximum we can in the race and try to use the best of the car that we're going to have this weekend.”
Ducking the question of how long he would be prepared to wait for Ferrari to decide on its future line-up – the Brazilian has maintained that he would rather quit F1 than race for anything other than a leading team – Massa hopes that Ferrari's traditionally strong performance at Monza would stand him in good stead.
“I feel that the car was more competitive in Spa than in Hungary,” he claimed, aware that Alonso was a lonely second in Belgium, “I think it was important for us, and I believe we can have a good car here.
“In the last [few] years, even last year maybe, the car was not so competitive in the season, but we had a good race in Monza. We usually find a good direction for this race, so I hope we can have a good car here so that we can fight and have a great race.
“And not just here, but so that the second part of the season is much better than the first part...”
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