Jan.13 (Ferrari) Felipe Massa’s Formula future depends on what happens this year. At the end of 2012, the contract between the Brazilian and Scuderia Ferrari will come to an end, but the pressure that might build with this expiry date does not seem to have unsettled the Brazilian.
“I am well aware that in some ways, the first part of the season will be more important than the second,” he said. “When we reach the mid-point of the season, we will talk about my future and see what are the chances of continuing to work with Ferrari: The most important thing is the results: if they are good, making decisions about the future will be much easier and there would be no point in changing a situation that everyone was happy with.
“I want to read in the papers that Felipe is back, fighting for the wins and to do that, we need everything to be right: if we have a good car then I know I can fight for the title, as I have already done in the past,” continued the Paulista. “Since 2008, nothing has changed: after my accident, I am still the same. Sure, it bothers me not having won for such a long time and I have a strong desire to win again: however, I am calm because I know what I am capable of and I am 100% ready to manage the pressure that has always been part of my work.”
Felipe said he was pleased to hear of the new arrivals, especially that of Bridgestone Motorsport’s former Technical Director Hirohide Hamashimi: “He is a very experienced engineer and being able to count on him is very positive in terms of gaining an understanding about how the tyres work. Pat Fry is doing a very good job: he too is very experienced and has done an excellent job on the reorganization of the team.”
For a driver, inevitably his first adversary is his team-mate: he’s the only one with the same car and the only one from whom one has no secrets. Massa has always had very strong team-mates, of the calibre of Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Kimi Raikkonen, but usually he has never struggled as much in terms of results as he has with Fernando Alonso.
Despite this, the relationship between the two Scuderia men seems today to be more solid than ever. Over the past few days on the slopes of the Dolomites, Felipe and Fernando have spent a lot of time together, even when not “on duty” for the media.
“Fernando and I work together towards having a quick car and for the good of the team,” said Felipe. “He is a great driver but clearly I would like to see my name always at the top of every time sheet. The gap that we have seen between us over the past two years could, in my opinion, be closed if we have a competitive car.”
“Let’s hope we are both competitive and manage to each win half the races!” replied Fernando an hour later. “Felipe and I have a good relationship away from the track and we also enjoy ourselves together in our free time: our friendship is a great help even for the team, because one must be united in order to win.”