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Q&A with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa 06 Jun 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 6 June 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 6 June 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 6 June 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 6 June 2009

Felipe Massa has won in Turkey for the last three years, a reminder of the ‘good old days’ with Ferrari when victory was always within reach. This season the Brazilian has been forced to lower his sights, but it is always a mistake to write-off the reds, so when Massa says he is aiming for ‘good points’, it could mean more is possible…

Q: Felipe, everybody expected Ferrari to fight for the pole. What happened?
Felipe Massa:
Well, the car with low fuel in Q1 and Q2 was quite good - good balance and good grip - and then when I put the fuel in the car I just lost the balance. The car became completely oversteery and it was a bit difficult to drive, so it was difficult to put a lap together. I think that's the only explanation.

Q: Have the new parts on the car served you well and how do you see your competitors after this qualifying?
FM:
For sure we made a small step forward, but maybe the others as well. I think that we are still more competitive to a few other teams, but Red Bull and Brawn GP are still better than us. Not so much, but enough to make a difference in the end.

Q: Do you think you were able to keep the momentum from the last race in Monaco or is there a little setback here to the morale of the team?
FM:
No, it should not. We keep working hard trying to improve the situation. If you look back at the beginning of the championship and compare to now we have improved a lot, but for sure we have to keep on pushing to really bring the team to a competitive level. But I would not speak in any way of a setback here.

Q: Looking at qualifying is Vettel your favourite here or would you see Button taking the win again?
FM:
I would say that both have a possibility. We need to wait to see their fuel loads. I don’t know if Sebastian again went on a crazy strategy or not. If again, then Jenson has all the chances to win the race. If Sebastian this time went for a reasonable strategy then I would say Sebastian has more chance.

Q: Last year you were fighting for the championship, this year you must have new targets born out of the situation. How different is it for you to have a different target now?
FM:
I mean it’s much better to fight for the championship! In terms of a driver that’s much nicer. But nevertheless we always want to do your best, but if you don’t have a competitive car but saw that you’ve done a good job, in the end the feeling is the same. If you see yourself in a good position at the end of the race you are equally happy as if you have won the race. You need to change a little bit your approach because for sure it is always better to fight for the first positions.

Q: Is a win possible for you, or is a podium a more realistic target?
FM:
First we need to think about good points. For sure we are not in the position to say that we will be fighting for the victory. Good points are the target and if something more is coming it is always welcomed.

Q: Will KERS be of more help here than in Monaco?
FM:
More than Monaco, yes. But if it will be enough to gain a lot of positions is another question. For sure it is better to have KERS than not have it on the car.

Q: This is a track where there’s a big difference between the clean and the dirty side. Are you happy to be seventh rather than to be sixth?
FM:
I tell you that after the race!