Massa looks forward to the new season
Looking ahead to the Alonso challenge
Felipe Massa faced the media today at the launch of the new Ferrari F10 challenger to discuss the season ahead with the new rules in mind, the team’s decision to focus on the package from an early stage, his new team-mate Fernando Alonso and his recovery from injuries sustained last year.
“We’ll start with less petrol into the weekend, while we will start into the race with enough petrol for the whole distance," he explained with reference to the low-fuel qualifying run and the race refuelling ban. "Then there are other details, such as the points assigned to the first and second in the races... Having all these changes in mind we have to pay a lot of attention and learn rapidly in terms of strategy and, as far as I am concerned, regarding driving the car to be immediately competitive.”
Massa was scheduled to give the F10 at its debut this afternoon, but cold conditions put a halt to the shakedown. So the Brazilian driver spoke about his contribution to the F10’s development programme: “Many things happened in 2009, resulting in difficult conditions for us to work on the car," he said. "We started very early thinking about 2010. We were asking for many modifications not just regarding aerodynamics, but also the engine and the tank. Everything was really important considering the 2010 rules. What’s very important is that every single detail can bring tenths of a second.
"What we can see here today is the result of many months of hard work on the car - let’s hope that we’ll be competitive right from the start.”
Having raced alongside Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, Massa has another challenge this year with double world champion Alonso joining the team.
“The expectations as far as my team-mate is concerned I’ve been living for many years now,” Massa said. “When there’s a new driver at Ferrari there are great expectations and the goal is to work well as a team, to be complete.
“I’ll have a very strong team-mate. I’ve always done good work, learned a lot, shown many times that I’m able to win and fight, whoever my team-mate was. Michael is a friend and I learned a lot from him, but on the track we’ll be competitors.”
Massa was also asked about his Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying accident that sidelined him from the second half of the season. “I had a really unbelievable accident," he said. "But naturally safety is something we’re working on every single day. We have to continue like this and there will be much more work to do also amongst us drivers and on the tracks to improve. On a personal level I’m happy that with everything that happened nothing has changed in my work.”