Responding to chief Formula 1 World Championship rival Lewis Hamilton's assertion that victory is very much on his agenda in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix this weekend [see separate story – click here
], Felipe Massa has underlined that expectations at Ferrari for the sport's first-ever night race are equally 'very high'.
Hamilton and Massa have waged a see-saw tussle for supremacy season-long, with the Briton arriving in the Far Eastern city-state just a single marker ahead of the Brazilian in the chase for the coveted crown.
With 40 points remaining up for grabs over the final four outings of the campaign, both drivers are well aware that even the tiniest of errors from hereon in will be heavily punished.
“There is a great battle,” Massa acknowledged, “with both of us having some ups and downs during the year, so I hope we can have good results in the remaining four races. It will come down to which team can do the best job working reliably and consistently.”
Whilst underlining that he doesn't 'expect anything' in the way of help from team-mate Kimi Raikkonen – the defending world champion now all-but out of title contention, sitting 21 points adrift of Hamilton in the drivers' standings – the man from São Paulo is nevertheless confident of seeing off the McLaren threat in Singapore, particularly given his peerless qualifying form around the similar street circuit layouts of Monaco and Valencia already this season.
“I arrived here on Tuesday morning,” he remarked, “so I had a little bit of time to do some sightseeing and it seems like a very interesting place. I am really looking forward to discovering the track and to learn it, as from our simulation work I would say it will be both interesting and difficult.
“The track looks like a mix of some other tracks, like Valencia, Melbourne and Monaco. It seems quicker than Monaco but much slower than Valencia, with some sections resembling Melbourne and maybe even Montreal. It looks as though there are some very tricky corners, and it will be important to learn the best lines as quickly as possible on Friday.
“As for my body clock, like everyone I am keeping pretty much to European time. For example, on Wednesday I was walking around the track at three o'clock in the morning! That's very unusual and funny actually.
“I'm aiming to go to sleep every day at five in the morning, waking up around one in the afternoon. It's strange to be operating on a completely different time plan to all the local people.