x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Felipe Massa feels stronger in the car

The Brazilian says that Ferrari are improving the car and style of driving.

Ferrari ‘s Felipe Massa is tipped to be fighting for points.
Ferrari ‘s Felipe Massa is tipped to be fighting for points.

You appeared a lot more comfortable racing in Monte Carlo, where you finished sixth. Was it just a case of things coming together for you and the team or did you find something in the car that vastly improved performance?

Monaco was a better race: It was clean, nothing wrong happened and we had good pace from the first session. We cannot be so happy finishing sixth, but it is a good start and I hope we can use it to keep improving here and for all the races until the end. For sure, we discovered things that can provide the direction for the other tracks as well. It helps us understand things that we did not understand before.

Fernando Alonso, your teammate, has said that your performance in Monaco makes him believe you will be fighting for points from now on in. Does that motivate you more?

Yeah for sure. I feel much better in the car. Improving the car and the style of driving and carry on improving. [I feel] stronger race by race; fighting for many good points, even looking front for victory and podiums. This is the target and I feel much stronger in the car than I did at the start of the season.

Is Circuit Gilles Villeneuve a track that suits Ferrari?

It is difficult to say. Here is a track that has a lot of slow corners, chicanes, hairpins, very long straight. Looking what is going on this season at all the tracks, it is difficult to say whether this is the right circuit for us or not. We have been working hard to improve our speed on the straights because we know the importance, but it is difficult to say.

You were quoted in foreign press earlier this week as saying if you were to leave Ferrari, you would likely retire from Formula One and race in a different series. Can you clarify that this is what you said? Maybe you could join your compatriot Rubens Barrichello in IndyCar ...

What I said was the most important thing for the future is to think about the present and take things racebyrace, focus on the result, make good points and then after August we will see what will happen. I never said if I am not in Ferrari, I would stop. I said if I need to go to a small team, maybe I would think about something else. For now, I am here and want to fight for the victory. That is what I have done for many years and I look forward to getting back and fighting for the championship. I trust myself. Things never started the way I expected, but things are getting better and if we carry on like this, we can find a good direction to stay at Ferrari.

GMeenaghan@thenational.ae

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