Massa: We need to turn the page after Australia and start from zero

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari attends a Shell Event at Enterprise Filling Station. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday 22 March 2012.
Felipe Massa is set on ignoring criticism from the media

Mar.22 (Ferrari) The Formula 1 media are often keen to jump to conclusions: after Qualifying at Albert Park, the top three drivers were asked in the FIA press conference if that session was a reflection of what to expect for the whole season.

After Sunday’s race, Lewis Hamilton was asked if he felt his title hopes were over. So perhaps it’s not surprising that, after just one race, the first of the season, the press, particularly the Italians have been claiming that Felipe Massa is to be replaced!

The Brazilian Ferrari man is well used to these stories and so he was good natured when he had to dismiss them when he met the media in the hot and sticky Sepang paddock this afternoon.


“We need to turn the page after Australia and start again from zero and that is what we are planning for this race, which I hope will get off to a good start,” he began.

“This is not the first time that I have had a difficult race, there have been many. But one always has to look to the next one and this weekend will be only the second of the championship, so there is still time. As for Melbourne, it’s true I have never had a weekend where the car has felt so bad right from the first day. The car was not working the way it should and after just a few laps, the tyres were gone, but this was not a problem with the tyres, it was caused by the car’s lack of balance. We are changing the chassis for this race and I think it is the right thing to do. Every time I drove this car during winter testing I never had any of the problems I had from the first day in Australia. The day after Fernando drove the same car in Barcelona for example, there was never anything strange or different in terms of lap times, race pace or tyre degradation. Then you arrive in Australia and see that everything is different, so changing the chassis is definitely the right thing to do. But it’s not just the chassis that is changed for here, as we are replacing many of the components.”

Massa was keen to stress that while major components on the car had been changed, this was only aimed at solving the difficulties he encountered last week. “Even if we are changing the chassis and other parts, the car is still the same car in development terms that we had in Melbourne,” he explained. “We have to try this to get the most out of it, even if we are not where we ought to be in terms of performance compared to others. I hope this track will suit the car better.”

“The Italian press giving me a hard time? To be honest, I really don’t care,” insisted the Ferrari man. “I never drove depending on what others think or say about me. I just do my job thinking about trying to do the best I can in the car. When I arrived here in 2008, people were saying I was out of Ferrari, because I did not finish in Australia and then I did not finish here and it went on to become my best season. Things can change very quickly from one day to the next. The only thing I care about is to have the car I know from winter testing.”

Earlier in the day, Felipe and team-mate Fernando Alonso and other team members, went out to Turn 11, the scene of the death of the extremely popular Italian MotoGP rider, Marco Simoncelli. “What happened last October was a tragic accident and I think around the world, not just in Italy, his loss was felt,” stated Felipe. “However, we are here to race and to do our job and this is not the only race track where bad things have happened. If possible it would be nice to think that, on Sunday, I could have a good race in his memory.”