Felipe Massa may be racing his final Japanese Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver, but in the build-up to the race he is quick to point out that the reds have a huge and enthusiastic following whenever Formula 1 sets up camp at Suzuka, a track which he relishes.
Speaking ahead of the weekend in Japan, Massa said, “I think Japan has one of the most incredible set of fans in general, and many of them are also cheering for Ferrari. Even on Thursday when there is no track action, the fans are there in the grandstands opposite the pits, whether it is dry or raining.”
“That’s the most incredible thing about racing in Japan, looking at the excitement and the love the fans have for Formula 1. The people are fantastic, very well educated I think it’s a lesson in life going to Japan and living among them for a while,” mused the Brazilian who has twice finished second at Suzuka, in 2006 and 2012.
The Brazilian recalled, “I’ve got good memories of my two second places here, especially the one in 2006 when I started from pole after doing a fantastic lap in qualifying and I came second again last year. I think my driving style suits this rather old style track with all its fast corners.”
Massa gave insight on how he and Ferrari will tackle the free practice sessions on Friday, “The first free practice session allows you to begin to understand how the car is handling and gives you an idea if the set-up is likely to be going in the right direction. You don’t do that many laps in the first session. Then in the second one, you do just a few laps on the new tyres, before pitting to put as much fuel in as you can and start a race simulation.”
“So the second session is a bit more linked to the race, to get a feeling for the car on full tanks, and then on Saturday, you look much more towards the afternoon’s qualifying, with low fuel and so on,” revealed Massa. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.