Felipe Massa needs something 'extraordinary' to happen in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos if he is to beat Lewis Hamilton to the Formula 1 World Championship laurels this weekend, admits Stefano Domenicali – but 'we have already seen much more extraordinary things than that'.
That much is something that Ferrari knows very well, after Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen entered the São Paulo finale this time twelve months ago a rank outsider for the crown, only to emerge with the trophy as a result of Hamilton's gearbox glitch in his McLaren-Mercedes that cost the British ace 40 seconds – and with it the coveted title.
Though the Stevenage-born star again enters the crucial showdown as the overwhelming favourite from a points' situation – needing to finish just fifth even if Massa wins – Domenicali is adamant his driver is not out of it yet, even if he acknowledges the Scuderia
has barely helped its own cause on occasion this year.
“In order for us to win the title, something extraordinary must happen,” the Maranello-based concern's team principal told Italian daily sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport
, “but to this point we have already seen much more extraordinary things than that.
“For our standards we have made an unacceptable level of mistakes, and paid for them dearly.”
Massa, however, is insistent there will be no finger-pointing should he fail to clinch the championship, despite his costly engine failure almost within sight of victory in Hungary and a calamitous pit-stop in Singapore that likely cost the 27-year-old the same result – and a further ten vital points.
“We are a team,” underlined the ten-time grand prix-winner. “Everyone has the right to make mistakes – this is how sports work.
“Our team works hard day and night to be 100 per cent ready, but sometimes things don't go as planned.”