Massa eager to renew title challenge 07 Jan 2008
Ferraris Felipe Massa says he is ready to fight all the way for the 2008 world championship after losing out to team mate Kimi Raikkonen for the 2007 drivers crown.
Speaking at the launch of Ferraris new F2008 machine in Italy on Sunday, Massa insisted he was undeterred by Raikkonens success and said that he is ready to use the lessons he learnt last year to raise his game this season.
"The number doesn't change anything, Massa said, referring to the 1 on the front of Raikkonens car. 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."
Massa finished fourth in the 2007 standings after winning three Grands Prix to Raikkonens six. Now he is focussed on getting to grips with the changes for 2008, including the loss of traction control (TC) and a shortened Q3 qualifying session.
"It really is different now, he said of the TC ban. You have to take care of the accelerator; even more than of the brakes. The driving style has to be softer and less aggressive.
Referring to the qualifying changes, which will see the fuel-burning phase of Q3 eliminated, Massa added: "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."
Massa's best championship finish to date was third in 2006 behind Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.