It happened four years ago, but Felipe Massa cannot come to Hungary without being asked about the very serious accident of 2009, when he was hit on the head by a suspension spring that came off another car.
Asked about it this afternoon at the usual press meeting in the paddock, Felipe began by joking that “I remember 2008, but actually I don’t remember 2009 at all! I’ve always liked this track, it has suited my driving style, but I’ve never managed to get a solid result.”
“In 2008, I had the win in my pocket, but I ended up parked at three laps from the end. Then in 2009, there was the accident, so when I first arrive here, I always think of having a clean race and getting the sort of result that I have come close to getting. So I hope I have a really great weekend.”
Asked if the Scuderia would be tackling this weekend on the defensive, the Brazilian seemed surprised at the question. “We will have to wait and see how we go in qualifying, which will be an important moment for us,” he began.
“It’s going to be a very hot weekend and if you ask what suits us best, I would say the heat, so if the car works well, we should expect to have a good race pace and therefore race on the attack not on the defense.”
“Then it was time for another mid-season tradition, a question about Massa’s future with Ferrari. ”
Let’s wait and see,” he said. “At the moment my main concern is getting results and the rest doesn’t bother me so much. Good results would not only help me here at Ferrari, but also with other teams, in case there was nothing here.”
Prior to this event, Felipe spent half a day at the Silverstone test session, evaluating the new Pirelli tyres that are being used as from this weekend.
“Testing was primarily useful in that we saw [that] the tyres did not fail,” he maintained. “There was not a single tyre problem for us or for the other teams. They went through long and short runs with no problems and they seem to be more consistent, maybe a bit slower over a first flying lap. So I think it was useful. Here, the old data will still be relevant as the tyres are more or less the same as last year. We will have to see what happens in the heat.”
On the subject of moves to make the pit lane safer, restricting media access and reducing the speed limit in pit lane, Felipe was not convinced that a slower pit lane would necessarily be a safer one.
“I don’t think the problem in the pit lane [in Germany] came from the speed, it came from the fact that a wheel was not properly fixed on the car. In that situation, if a car is doing 80 km/h or a hundred, a loose wheel is still going quickly. It is important to fix all these safety issues and with pit stops now down to two seconds, the possibility of making mistakes is greater than before.” (Ferrari)
Subbed by AJN.