The 2012 Chinese Grand Prix was not very rewarding for Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finishing ninth and thirteenth respectively, but this year the Maranello squad head to Shanghai in a more positive frame of mind as the F138 is a far better tool than the F2012.
Speaking ahead of round three of the F1 world championship, Massa said, “I know we have only done two races, but I have a good feeling so far this season. The work we did with the F138 over the winter has taken us in the right direction and the car has much more potential. Of course, I always want to be fighting for the win, although that did not work out in the first two races, but the signs were good with an excellent race pace and now we have to keep moving forward race by race.”
The Brazilian won’t be pushed into predicting the pecking order, “All I can say is that there are definitely more than two teams that are capable of fighting for the wins and the championship. Our team is one of them, with the car moving forward in the right way and it is delivering results on track that we expected when looking at data in the wind tunnel and the factory. In Melbourne we had a car that was capable of winning and in Malaysia the car was again competitive, even if conditions made the race something of a lottery.”
The three week break has been a busy period with both Massa and Alonso spending time at the Ferrari factory with engineers and in the simulator.
“We are well prepared for China and we will have all the updates we hoped to bring with us in Shanghai, after work in the factory and the simulator last week,” revealed Massa. “I hope this translates into a further performance improvement on track.”
Massa has never won in China, his best result being second which he scored back in 2008. Nevertheless he does enjoy the circuit, “Shanghai is a very nice track with a variety of corner types and fast straights, so you definitely need a car that works well in the fast sections, but you also need it to have plenty of downforce to deal with the tighter turns. We can expect to see quite high tyre degradation, especially on the fronts.”
The target is clear for the veteran of 174 grand prix starts, “The aim is to fight for a lot more points, for a podium, for a win even, because you have to set yourself high targets.”