Felipe Massa has spent the past week reflecting on a disappointing race in Canada, watching his country Brazil play in the World Cup, and preparing for next weekend’s European Grand Prix in the Ferrari simulator.
“It was a bad weekend, especially when you consider I had a very good car for the race and was expecting to pick up a significant number of points,” said Massa, who collided with Tonio Liuzzi at the beginning of the grand prix, and was denied a points finish in the closing stages by his former teammate Michael Schumacher.
“[Schumacher] closed the door on me too much,” explained the Brazilian. “He braked on the right and moved across to the left where I was. There was nothing I could do, as I was already on the limit of my braking and when he moved across even more, he broke my front wing.”
However, Massa took some positives from Canada, and is looking forward to the next race in Valencia, a track where he has a 100% winning record. “The car was much more competitive in Canada than in Turkey, which is a good basis on which to go to Valencia for the next race,” he said.
“The street circuit there is not so different in terms of its characteristics to the Montreal track and on top of that, we expect to have some more updates for the F10 to make it even more competitive with those ahead of us in the championship.
“Valencia has not produced very exciting races so far, but I enjoy the track, as the only time I have raced there, in 2008 – it was one of the races I missed last year after my accident – I won. It would be nice to think we could be in with a chance of doing the same again this time.”
Away from Formula 1, Massa has had time to watch some of the World Cup from South Africa this week. Brazil beat North Korea 2-1 on Tuesday. It was a welcome win, but Massa did feel there was something missing from the performance:
“To be honest, I expected something better, as their style of play was not that exciting and not very “Brazil.” Anyway, the important thing is that we won, which is what counts at the end.
“Probably the fact it was the first game meant the teams are very aware they need to make a good start and so do not play as well as they are able. We are up against two good teams next, Ivory Coast and Portugal so it will be important to do well in this first qualifying stage.”
In the latter part of this week, Massa has flown to Maranello to prepare for Valencia, spending time on the Ferrari simulator. “I enjoy this preparation, as it is very similar to doing a normal day of testing at a real circuit, as you drive from early in the morning until the end of the afternoon,” he explains.
“We see how the car works, starting with a set-up mainly based on the previous year's race and then we can change just about everything, as you would do in real life at the track. We even use it to test new components that have never been fitted on the car before and I am linked by radio to my race engineer, just as I would be in reality.
“With the unpredictable nature of this year's championship anything can happen and I am sure we can be in the fight for the top places come Sunday in Spain.”
Massa now heads to Monaco for the weekend to enjoy more football (Brazil play the Ivory Coast on Sunday) before heading on to Valencia.