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Massa: change must come - hopefully this weekend 22 Apr 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 18 April 2009 The car of Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009 is taken back to the paddock on a truck.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 19 April 2009 Nicolas Todt (FRA) Driver Manager, Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari and Rob Smedley (GBR) Ferrari Race Engineer on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 19 April 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 18 April 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009

With his second retirement of the year in China, and no points to show from his 2009 campaign, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa could be forgiven for becoming disillusioned with progress at the Italian team. But Massa is determined to keep his chin up ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix and hopes Ferrari can put behind them the reliability problems that have hindered his progress.

“The days of putting my thoughts down after each race and talking about winning and being on the podium seem to be a long time ago at the moment and honestly, going over each race is currently more of a pain than a pleasure,” the Brazilian told Ferrari’s official website. “But I’ve not given up hope and there were some bright moments in a very dark and wet Chinese weekend.”

Massa’s F60 ground to a halt at the side of the Shanghai International Circuit after suffering a previously unseen electronic problem. But up until that point the car had performed surprisingly well in the wet race, with Massa moving up to third by Lap 21, despite a slow start to the weekend and the team opting to take out their KERS system.

“In Shanghai, we still were not competitive enough and we had also taken the decision to run without KERS which could have been more of a handicap, but in the rain on Sunday, we were very strong,” Massa said. “I was able to make up several places and I was running at a pace similar to the guys at the front of the field. That was the plus side, but on the minus side, reliability let us down again and I was unable to finish the race.”

Although the 27 year-old isn’t sure yet whether Ferrari will run with KERS at Sakhir this weekend, he believes that, with the system fitted and thanks to the team’s extensive testing at the Bahraini track over the winter, he should enjoy a better result come Sunday.

“I have always gone well at the Sakhir circuit, winning for the last two years, so I hope this is a good sign,” he added. “In more practical terms, we tested here during the winter and the car was not too bad to be honest and the tyres seemed to suit the package we have. I really do expect to be more competitive, especially if we have KERS, as it should be a significant advantage at this track.

“I hope that finally we can make life difficult for the other teams and fight for a very good result. I am very motivated, despite the difficult times until now. But change must come and hopefully that will start this weekend. It should be much hotter than we are used to here, but I don’t think that should be a problem to deal with.”

Massa will journey to Bahrain on Wednesday, following some PR activities in Abu Dhabi, and will be back in action on Friday when first practice for this weekend's race gets underway.