Performance and reliability very important for Massa
"Seeing the car for the first time is like welcoming a boy in a family. It is important to work to make him grow in the best way." These were the first words of Felipe Massa when he met the journalists, together with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, at the presentation of the new single-seater.
"The first impression of the car is that it is really beautiful. Just like every other Ferrari. But that is not enough. The looks are important, but the performance and the reliability are even more important. The team has to work to make the car immediately fast and reliable. We have to do some more work on it before the first race and we want to check its performance before we make any further comments."
As far as the different driving style caused by the missing traction control is concerned Massa said: "It really is different now. You have to take care of the accelerator; even more than of the brakes. The driving style has to be softer and less aggressive. To the question of how much it weighs on him that Kimi has number 1 on his car, Felipe replied: "The number doesn't change anything. The most important thing is what we reach by the end of the year. 2007 was really great. I won races, but I also had some problems, which cost me some precious points. We have to learn from that and try to win again. I am really motivated; the team is absolutely fantastic. I'm married now and I turned into a man and I am more serious now. I am ready to fight. More than ever."
As far as the new rules are concerned and because he already has experience with cars without traction control in other racing series Massa said: "I don't think that this will be an advantage. Although many things changed. Also the revs have a certain influence. The V8 is more aggressive and difficult than the V10. When you are driving under these conditions you want more stability and grip and you try to drive more aggressively and closer to the limit."
"When there's less grip you can use the tyres much better. That is really important, as there is no traction control anymore." As far as the new qualifying rules are concerned Felipe said: "To be honest I think that absolutely nothing will change here; we won't have 3-4 laps to use the old tyres. We'll start with new sets of tyres and with the right amount of fuel to get the right lap time. Almost nothing will change for me here."
Felipe confirmed that: "Jean Todt is still there and he will participate in many important events. There's Stefano now, who has a very important role after many years he has been working here. I am happy for him and I hope that the team will be as it always was. After all it is the mentality that is important and that it remains as it is."
And the incorrect things in 2007? "That has been some kind of school for me; to teach me that these kind of situations should never ever happen again for any team and the Championship. We all have to work bearing in mind that this sport is based on rules, which we all have to follow."