Felipe Massa arrived in Istanbul for this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix after a short break in Miami, Florida which certainly helped in acclimatising to the high temperatures in the Turkish capital. His first appointment came in the shape of the FIA Official Press Conference, where he was reminded about his first ever F1 victory here a year ago.
"Yes, this is a special event for me with my first victory and if I could repeat it this weekend that would be fantastic, especially as I also like this city, this country and the circuit that is so challenging," said the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver.
And will there be a better chance of winning here than in Hungary? "That race was a disaster for me," admitted Massa. "But I expect us to be much more competitive here and so I hope I can have a great qualifying and a great race. It will be very important for us to do well in terms of the championship, but whatever happens, I will never put my head down or give up until the very last moment." On Wednesday, some of the drivers took part in a soccer match and Felipe was joined on the pitch by Fernando Alonso. A journalist wanted to know how they got on, in view of their argument before the podium ceremony at the European Grand Prix. "At first Fernando said he wanted to play as a forward and then he changed his mind and asked if he could play midfield, and I told him he could as long as he passed me the ball," joked the Ferrari man. "But seriously, there are no problems between us. Things have been clarified between us, we played football and had a lot of fun." Also on the subject of Alonso, Massa was asked if he felt the alleged "row" between the two McLaren drivers would be good for Ferrari's championship aspirations. "We don't know exactly what the situation is and people in the media often talk and write too much about these things. There is always a big competition between team-mates, just as there is between me and Kimi.
At some circuits I am a little bit quicker than him and at others he is a little bit quicker than me. The competition is very close." Finally, and again with a reference to Alonso and Hamilton who did not come to the circuit at all today, the drivers in the conference were asked what importance they attached to Thursday activities at the race track. "For me it is an important day now. But I remember in the lower formulas, I would still come to the circuits maybe two days before I had to drive, just to be there without doing anything. But now we have a lot of meetings and discuss preparations for the weekend."Source Ferrari