Massa proud to be first to sample the F60 12 Jan 2009
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is feeling positive about the season ahead, after catching his first glimpse of his 2009 car. Speaking at the official launch of the F60 in Mugello on Monday morning, Massa said he is proud to have been selected as the driver to debut the car on-track.
When you race for Ferrari and you debut the car for the first time on the track its always quite an important and emotional day, explained the Brazilian to Ferrari's official website. Its the second time in my career Ive debuted the car for the first time and I am very proud.
"I was expecting quite a big car, like it was ten years ago for example, but when I got here the car is very small and compact, especially in the rear. It looks good and hopefully will be as quick as it looks like it.
Massa will sample the F60 at the Italian circuit later in the day. And despite his disappointment at losing the world championship to McLarens Lewis Hamilton by a single point at the 2008 season finale, the 27 year-old is confident he can raise his game in 09.
If you look at my career from the start to now, every year I feel stronger, he said. I think after so much experience over these six years, I feel stronger and I feel more experienced, especially after last year, with how difficult the championship was. I think you learn, and that makes me ready and even more experienced for this year.
Team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished third in the 2008 standings, was also present at the launch, but he wont get to sample the F60 until Tuesday. Raikkonen, however, is equally confident he can turn his fortunes around to take a second drivers title this season.
Last year was not exactly what I wanted but its in the past, explained the Finn. Of course theres a big question mark about who has the best car because the rules have changed a lot. But we are very confident the car should be very good and we should see in the next few weeks how good it is against the others. For sure well try to win both championships.
(The car) looks different because of the new regulations, but I think after you look at it for a little while you get used to it. For me it looks different but very good, and Im looking forward to running in it at the circuit tomorrow to see how it goes.
Technical director Aldo Costa, meanwhile, is happy to briefly bask in the glory of helping Ferrari become the first team to launch their 2009 car, despite the revolutionary nature of the F60s design.
As you can see the car is not an evolution of last years car but a completely new car, started from a completely white piece of paper, explained Costa at the launch. Fundamentally the biggest change is due to the new rules and the introduction of the new technology - the KERS system.
"Because of these two main aspects, and the new type of tyre, we had to start early and to review all the main concepts of the car. Its been a very deep, intense and long job.