Massa focusing on Brazilian race victory rather than title 27 Oct 2008
With the drivers championship still at stake, Ferraris Felipe Massa faces one of the toughest challenges of his career at this weekends season finale in Brazil. Massa, however, says he is feeling calm and collected ahead of the Interlagos race, and believes title rival Lewis Hamilton is under much more pressure to perform.
I have zero pressure, because I have nothing to lose, said the Brazilian. It's true I have a tougher job than Lewis in terms of the points situation, but my own objective for the weekend is much more straightforward than his."
Following Hamiltons dominant victory in China, Massa is trailing the McLaren driver by seven points in the title standings. Hamilton therefore needs to finish fifth or higher to clinch the crown, while Massa must cross the line in first or second place (with Hamilton sixth or lower) if he is to be named champion.
I only have to focus on winning the race on Sunday afternoon, hopefully with my team mate second behind me," continued Massa. "The only thing I am thinking about is winning. After that, the matter is not in my hands and we will have to wait and see exactly what and how much we have won.
As well as his relaxed approach, Massa also hopes that having his home crowd cheering him on will boost his chances of success.
"I will have a huge following here in my home town, he explained. Brazilian people love Formula One, love motor racing and it is really big passion for them. I love this track, I grew up here and I know all its little tricks and secrets. I really like to race at home and I think I race better at home."
Recently Ferrari have enjoyed unrivalled success at the Interlagos circuit, with Massa victorious in 2006 and his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, winning the race and the championship at the circuit in 2007.
"It is impossible to predict what will happen in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but I think our car has always been very good at this circuit, even if I cannot explain exactly why, Massa added. We have always gone well here and I expect that to be the case at the weekend, whatever the conditions.