Felipe Massa has insisted that attempting to land the Formula One world title on home soil at Interlagos adds no extra pressure to that he is already putting on himself this weekend.

Brazil has not won the title since Ayrton Senna took the last of his three crowns in 1991, and Sao Paolo native Massa will have the majority of the crowd behind him as he takes to the track in his home town in an effort to deny Lewis Hamilton the ultimate glory in a hard-fought season. The Ferrari man is the outsider, however, needing to win the race and hope that Hamilton finishes outside the top five.

"For sure, they know [the situation], but you know how fans are - they are very excited, they try to push you, trying to put you in the best position," he reasoned, "For sure, the position is quite difficult, but I have a great time in my country. I have great motivation, great encouragement from my fans and that's fantastic. You go out to restaurants, in the road and everybody looks to you and congratulates you and gives a lot of good energy for the weekend. I think that's a great feeling, and it's a great time to be here, fighting for the championship in my home country and in a good position in my career."

Massa was just ten when Senna clinched his third title, but admits that he would be honoured to maintain Brazil's proud record in Formula One.

"I remember Senna winning the championships, fighting for some others in which he was very competitive as well," he admitted, "As a Brazilian, Senna was like a kind of god here, and before that was Nelson [Piquet Jr]'s father. I think we have a great country in terms of building drivers, and I would hope that we can carry on with that story. I would love to win the championship, that's why I'm here, that's what I'm working for, doing my best to achieve my dreams, but also trying to keep up the nice story that Brazil has in Formula One. It will be fantastic."

Having been at the front of the field throughout his career, Massa shares a similar background to title rival Hamilton, and insists that he is not feeling any more pressure simply because he is now chasing the F1 crown.

"When you are racing, it doesn't matter whether you are in Formula One or in go-karts, whatever category you are.....," he maintained, "When you get inside the car, you are thinking about racing, not thinking 'I am in Formula One and it is the most important motorsport'.

"You don't think about that, you think about racing. You think about doing your best and fighting so, for me, it is exactly the same fighting for the championship in Formula One or for victory or whatever in a go-kart. When you are in a go-kart, you want to win. It is your dream - your motivation is to win that race or that championship. You don't think about Formula One as you live for that moment. That's why it is the same now. You want to win now. For sure, you have much more expectation and pressure [from outside] but, when you are driving, you don't think about that."

Like Hamilton, Massa also enjoys the support of his family, who will again be in the Ferrari pit throughout the Interlagos weekend, hoping that he can overturn the seven-point deficit that currently separates him from top spot.

"I think having the family together is very important," the Brazilian claimed, "I have always had my family together in my career - in go-karts and the other categories, it was a little bit more difficult as I didn't have so much money for them to go to the race, but at least I always had them very close to me, talking on the phone almost every day.

"I think it is very important as, when you are happy in your private life, when you have a good family, I think it makes your professional life even better. When you get inside the car, you don't put in all the problems that you have outside. They don't come to every race, but they come a lot and I feel very happy."

Having won his home race two years ago, and played a major part in helping team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to last year's title, Massa knows that he and Ferrari will have a good chance of upholding their side of the bargain when it comes to playing out the championship denouement.

"First of all, this [circuit] is part of my story - I started here, grew up in this area, started [racing] when I was eight over at the go-kart track and started my career in open-wheelers here in '98," he confirmed, "I love the circuit and, when you are at home and you have a nice circuit to drive, you always have extra motivation, extra good energy.

"I think our car can be quite strong here because, in the past, we were very strong here. If you look at this season, on some tracks, we were stronger, and on some tracks, McLaren was stronger. I don't think that, because China wasn't a great performance for us, that it will be the same here. I think this is a track that suits our car quite well and we like to race with these tyres, so I think we can be very strong."


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