Felipe Massa was one of the drivers in the spotlight during this afternoon’s FIA press conference in Bahrain, where the main focus dealt with the media’s current obsession with tyre behaviour in China last Sunday.
The first question the Ferrari man was asked, stemmed from the fact he has won twice before in Bahrain. “What is the secret of going well here?” asked the moderator and Felipe’s answer prompted amused laughter all round, as he replied, “secret is secret!”
He then went on to give a fuller answer. “I have always liked driving this circuit, since the first time I came here with Sauber in 2004. It’s a nice track, with long straights and hard braking, where traction is also important.”
The Brazilian was then asked what it was like to haves spent his entire Ferrari career partnering world champions, some of them multiple ones.
“I have always had strong team-mates and many people have said that’s not a good thing, but for me it’s a positive. It motivates you to always do the best you can, because if you don’t do a perfect job, it shows, as your team-mate is always there. I have learned a lot from partnering what people all over the world have usually considered the best drivers of all. You are always under pressure to be perfect every day and I like that,” confessed the Brazilian.
Finally, the Ferrari man delivered an analysis of his tyre problems in Shanghai and what could be expected on the rubber front at the very different Sakhir track.
“I had a big problem with graining on the Medium tyres at the last race, already in Friday practice,” he revealed. “As the track got better over the weekend, I found a lot more rear grip and so, in the race, I at first concentrated on saving the front tyres, but then the graining started and that cost me the second stint. In the third stint, I decided to push and that cleaned the graining off the tyres, so maybe it was completely wrong for me to have tried to look after the fronts.”
“I am not concerned about having the Hard tyres here, because I had no problem with them in Malaysia: there was graining but it was the same for everyone. I think here the time difference will be big between the two tyre types, which means most people will try and use the Medium as much as possible in the race. Therefore, once again, it will be vital to work out a good strategy. In general, I think Pirelli is doing a good job and the races have been entertaining for the fans,” added Massa who is set to take part in his 177th grand prix weekend in Bahrain.