Massa: I want to do a good job in Monaco

Felipe Massa during the FIA drivers press conference at Monaco

Felipe Massa during the FIA drivers press conference at Monaco

May.14 (Grand Prix 247) Ferrari‘s Felipe Massa spoke at the FIA drivers press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Here are highlights of his answers to questions and his thoughts on the first practice day day at the principality.

Look back at last weekend and look ahead to this weekend. What do you think of this circuit? What are your chances?

Felipe Massa on the opening day at the rpincipality

Felipe on the opening day at the rpincipality

Felipe Massa: Last weekend was not really great for me, especially in qualifying, looking at the difference. Red Bull was in front of most of the other teams. I was struggling a lot to find the good grip level on the tyres and in the race, starting ninth and finishing sixth was not so bad. I did a good start and then the race was quite boring as Jenson said. Difficult to overtake, almost impossible, and struggling a lot with the grip level as well. I did most of the race behind them and I just had no grip to try anything. It was not a very nice race to do, so I hope we can do a better job this weekend and also the different tyres which on our car were working quite well in Bahrain. We will see how it is going to be. Also, Monaco is always Monaco but I hope we can do a better job here.

And the driver can make the difference here as well?
Massa:
Yeah. It is always a difficult track and you can lose time very easily in whatever corner you go here, so the driver is always important to do a little bit better on some of the little details. We will see how the weather is going to be as if it is raining here it is always a lottery but I am looking forward to doing a good job here.

There was a suggestion that they might split qualifying but that seems to have been shot down. Wouldn’t you have preferred to have the top teams running in a separate qualifying and the slow backmarkers on their own, because you are going to get held up?

Traffic at Monaco was not a big issue on the opening day

Traffic at Monaco was not a big issue on the opening day

Massa: When you are qualifying and you cannot do your lap it’s always not nice. Here it is the worst track for that. I think we’ve done a good job until now in qualifying: Q1, Q2 and Q3 but here will be a big problem, I think, especially in Q1. It would be nice to have a little bit different qualifying. At least you can make it more real, to give the possibility for every driver to do his best. I think to find a free lap here will not be easy. But anyway, the decision has been made and so we need to try to do our best.

Ferrari won’t be using the F-duct here and you didn’t seem to be very happy about it last weekend. How will the situation be in the future? Is it possible that Fernando can use it and you not, for example, in Turkey and other races?
Massa:
No, because we’re not using it for a reason. It depends on the track when we use it and it depends on the track when we don’t use it. We always prepare the best for every track we go to, so if we don’t have the F-duct on this track it’s because it’s better without it. But for sure we’re going to use it in other races.

How proud are you to compete in Formula One? Tomorrow is Formula One’s birthday. When you see Formula One’s history, are you proud to be in this competition?

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10. Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday 13 May 2010.

Felipe acknowledges he has a dream job

Massa: I think Formula One is a dream for every driver. To become a Formula One driver means you are at the top of motor sport. You are doing what you always dreamed of, especially when you get to Formula One and then you have the possibility to improve and to grow inside the category, to go to good teams. We are doing what we love to do. We have a great life. When you’re working in an area which you love, I think you do so with a lot of pleasure and passion. That’s why time goes by too quickly, because we’re doing what we like to do. It’s really a big pleasure for all of us.

How much did the car efficiency let you down in the five races so far? Did you expect, at the beginning of the season, to have a better car or did you expect a little bit more from yourself in terms of fitting to the F10?

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari  Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 7 May 2010.

Felipe in the cockpit of the Ferrari F10

Massa: All during the winter tests I was 110 percent happy with the car and then we went to the first race and the car was great, everything was working perfectly as I wanted and then when we changed the tyres I was always struggling a little bit more to get used to the car, to get used to the grip level, so that was the biggest problem, the biggest issue that I felt in the last races. There are some issues that I felt this year but I’m working very hard and I’m going to solve the problem. We know it’s an issue that has cost me a few points in the last races, but it’s something that I know I’m going to solve.

Why, precisely, were you not happy with the F-duct? Was it the way you have to use it which is not comfortable, or is it in its own efficiency?
Massa:
I never said I was not happy with the F-duct.

It’s just the previous remark, it’s not the question that you’re not unhappy with it.
Massa
: As I said, I had some races where I was struggling with the grip level of the car and we didn’t have the F-duct, so it’s not really with the F-duct that I have a problem.

After Barcelona, Stefano Domenicali said the guys back at the factory were going to look into some potential problems with your car because you hadn’t felt comfortable with that. Have they found anything that might improve things for this weekend?
Massa:
Yeah, we have so many ideas, looking around Barcelona, so let’s try to use these ideas to see if they’re going to work but for sure we have a group inside the factory and myself as well working very hard to solve all the problems I had.

How was your first practice day in Monaco?
Massa:
The situation is definitely very different to Barcelona. From one week to the next I have found a much more stable car which is easy to drive and has much more grip. I have to say I can only be happy with the F10 and the way things went today. Having said that, there is still a lot to do to be done to be as well prepared as possible for the rest of the weekend. The traffic could be a problem, especially in Q1 and we will have to try and manage the situation as well as possible. Here it is always difficult to get a perfect lap: there are so many slow corners where you can lose a lot of time, which you never get back. However, getting it right is really especially satisfying.