This circuit does not have an Avenue of Honour, like some tracks do, paying tribute to its biggest stars, but if it did it would surely feature the name of Felipe Massa, as the Ferrari man has won three of the five races held here. In his session with journalists this afternoon, he was asked what was the secret of his Turkish success.
“It’s definitely a place I love to race, but there is no secret about it, it’s just that I like the track layout, but of course you also definitely need a good car. It’s nice to race at a track you enjoy and given that I am 17 points behind the leader, which is not such a big gap, I have in my mind that one race can change the situation a lot, and being at a favourite track certainly helps that feeling. I intend to push hard to deliver a strong performance throughout the weekend. Even if one team is currently ahead of the rest, I think we can be in the fight for the win on Sunday.”
Tyres are a key factor this year and because of the abrasive nature of the Istanbul track, Bridgestone is bringing two compounds from the harder end of the spectrum, a choice which has not suited the F10 so well this year. Would this affect Felipe’s chances of adding to his hat-trick of Turkish wins? “The tyre choice does not affect my optimism for this weekend,” began the Ferrari man. “I am very honest and if I have a problem, I am the first one to talk about it and I always tell the truth. I had trouble in some races with the tyres not being up to temperature and I was struggling massively. In the two races where we had the softer tyres, I was fine. If everything works well here I can be competitive. I am very confident about my driving and myself and I know what I am able to do. That is why I am working very hard with the team to try and improve the points where we need to improve. When you see the leading team has taken all the pole positions but not won all the races this season, it is clear that having the best car is not always enough: you need to win the race. As I said, the championship is very close and I am only the equivalent of a second place finish behind the leaders. So we need to keep pushing to make the car better and better to put ourselves out in front.”
One element that the team – and indeed all other teams – cannot use to improve its package, is testing, as it is banned during the season. Felipe was asked if it was frustrating. “I am not asking to have testing like we had in the past, with thousands of kilometres every week, which I think was too much,” Massa said. “But we should move in a sensible direction to have some tests between some races to help develop the car. It would also help the new teams.”
The season might only be one third completed, but already the press is speculating about driver moves for next year and Felipe was giving nothing away with his answer to a question regarding his future. “Let’s wait a bit to see what happens, but definitely I would like to stay here with the Scuderia,” admitted the Brazilian. “I love working with them and everyone respects me within the team and it would be fantastic to carry on with Ferrari.”Source Ferrari