Nurburg, 4 July – Felipe Massa was one of the stars of the British Grand Prix a few days ago, making a phenomenal start and then, after a tyre failure dropped him to the very back of the field, climbing all the way to sixth at the flag. However, the way the F138 behaved over the three days on track at Silverstone was less noteworthy. “We were a lot less competitive than Red Bull and Mercedes, especially in qualifying, and in qualifying even other cars were quicker than us,” admitted the Scuderia Ferrari driver, when facing the media at the usual Thursday press meeting. “In the race, the car was a lot more competitive, although even then, Red Bull and Mercedes were better than us, but not by the same margin as in qualifying. We have been working on this for a while now, but it’s true that in Silverstone, the gap was a lot bigger than at other tracks. We worked very hard in the past couple of days, looking at the aerodynamics, the set-up, everywhere to try and see why that happened. Now, I hope we can have a better car here to prove that we have again found the right direction to move in.”
Asked to assess his performance over what is now almost a half season, Felipe’s view was generally positive. “I am happy with my performance, as I had races such as Monaco, where I had a crash, Bahrain where it was the tyres and Canada a crash in qualifying before a very good race, but if you look at the races where I did not have these difficulties, then my performance was very good, being able to fight,” he said. “We need to keep that target from now to the last race, trying not to have problems and unlucky situations. If that happens, then I think I can do even better than I have done so far.”
On a lighter note, Felipe was asked about an interesting dinner he had with some famous people at the table after Silverstone. It was a fun dinner; Bernie Ecclestone was there and so was Eric Clapton who is a great friend of mine and I’m a big fan of his. He’s a great guy and we spoke about everything, even the tyre situation!” That comment inevitably led to some questions about the current hot topic. “I had tyre problems in Bahrain and in Silverstone. In the first case, we had not inverted the tyres, but in Silverstone we did, so I am not sure the problem is linked to this,” concluded Felipe.