Massa: The fire still burns inside me and I know I can win

Felipe Massa speaks to media during his Wrooom press conference

Felipe Massa during his Wrooom press conference

Felipe Massa is no stranger to the annual Wrooom event, in Madonna di Campiglio, which fires up the Formula One season for Ferrari and while speaking to media he made it clear he is targeting race wins in 2013 and considers himself a world title contender.

Felipe Massa at WROOOM 2013

“I can’t imagine a team not wanting two competitive drivers,” Massa told the assembled media. “We are fighting for two titles and I am sure the team will help me if it turns out that my situation was the same as the one that meant Fernando was a contender these past years.”

“I remember when Kimi was my team-mate and how much we helped one another from one season to the next. It’s the same with Fernando, it’s team work, while the harmony between us is a help, as it would be in any job,” recalled the 31 year old Brazilian who has won 11 grands prix for the Maranello squad.

“In Australia we start over from zero and it will all depend on my ability and on the way the championship pans out. I hope to get off to the best possible start and my aim is always to carry the Brazilian flag onto the highest step of the podium,” said Massa.

“This year, I am the only Brazilian in F1 and it was an emotional time on the podium in Interlagos last year, hearing the fans cheering my name: it’s a sign of the affection and closeness I feel from my country and that is fundamental for me,” he admitted.

Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012.The F2012 was not a much loved car and resulted in the team being on the back foot for most of last season. Massa was realistic about the team’s 2013 challenger.

“We must wait and see the new car on track and right from the second test, we will have some indication, but it won’t be until Australia that we will know if we have done a good job,” predicted the Brazilian.

As for the opposition he said, “Vettel is definitely one of our main rivals, but McLaren also finished last year with a very quick car and the stability of the regulations means [that] they too will be contenders. In any case, I am confident in my team and I am sure Ferrari will be in the hunt.”

It is the 23rd edition of the Philip Morris backed Wrooom event in the Italian Dolomites which Massa has attended every year for almost a decade.

“It’s always nice to start the year in Campiglio,” mused the Ferrari driver.”Skiing and seeing everyone smiling is a great prelude to the season and I hope it is also a good sign for a championship in which I want to be a contender.”

Felipe Massa WROOOM 2013Reflecting on last year, when his season started negatively but improved drastically around the midway mark, “I consider what I did in the second half of last year as training for this season and I want to be 100% competitive! It was vital for me to change my approach, not so much in terms of understanding the car better or the tyres, but getting a better understanding of myself, believing in my ability, even when so many people said I’d lost it.”

Massa believes he has found the solution, “I took to the track trying to find a sense of calm and especially trying to enjoy myself and that helped a lot in regaining my self-confidence. Today, I feel the fire still burns inside me and I know I can win and be competitive at the highest level, as I have done in the past in my career.” (Apex & Ferrari)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.