Felipe Massa: “Hamilton was too optimistic” 

Written by David on September 08th, 2008 at 11:36 pmLast Update: September 08th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Felipe Massa, 2008 Belgian Grand Prix SPA“I was in the team motorhome, saying goodbye to everyone and getting ready to leave the circuit, when Stefano Domenicali informed me that the Stewards had penalised Lewis for his overtaking move on Kimi and that I was now the winner,” said Felipe Massa in a note on Scuderia Ferrari‘s official website. “Immediately after the podium ceremony, we knew the incident was under investigation and my first reaction was to find out what had actually happened, as I didn’t see it when I was on the track.”

“What Lewis did is the sort of thing that can happen, but I think he was maybe a bit too optimistic in thinking he could just hand back the position, albeit only partially to Kimi and then immediately try and pass him again,” continued the Brazilian. “Incidents like this have often been discussed in the official driver briefings when it has been made absolutely clear that anyone cutting a chicane has to fully restore the position and also any other eventual advantage gained. If Lewis had taken the chicane correctly, he would never have been able to pass Kimi on the very short straight that follows it. That was my immediate opinion after seeing the replay. Maybe if Lewis had waited and tried to pass on the next straight, that would have been a different matter.”

Regarding the Drivers’ Championship after the unexpected win at Spa, Massa said: “It is now looking very interesting in terms of the championship, as I am just two points behind. I drove my race in Spa to finish, thinking about the championship situation and I did the right thing, because I gained one place after Kimi’s crash and then after the race, came another move up the finish order. I am happy with that because the championship is really open now. But there are still five races to go and so we need to do a good job.”

“The last couple of laps in Spa were extremely slippery and so I slowed down even more than normal because I saw there was a comfortable gap to the guy behind and I just wanted to make sure I finished the race. If I had been in a fight for another position, I would have pushed harder. But I was thinking more of the championship situation and I did not want to finish without any points, through taking risks.”

“While I am pleased to have won, I have to feel sorry for Kimi too,” admitted the Brazilian. “I know what it is like to be leading a race and then losing it with a few laps to go. He was in a different situation to me when the rain came, as he was fighting for the win. It is very frustrating for him, especially after he drove a great race.”

Massa is now looking forward to Ferrari’s home Grand Prix at Monza. “We did a lot of mileage which was important from the reliability point of view, especially on the engine front, which will be a key element for the coming races. We also did a lot of mileage running the low downforce Monza aero package. I think the results were generally okay and thanks to some changes on the suspension, we managed to improve the way the car works over the kerbs which is so important at this track. We will find out during qualifying on Saturday if we did a really good job on that front. That kind of circuit requires good mechanical grip when tackling the kerbs, but you also need a car that is good in terms of downforce to give you a good top speed. Unless both these elements are at their best, you have not done a good enough job. A good combination of these elements makes the car quicker and more consistent. Let’s wait and see what happens and personally, I can’t wait to be back on the race track after that unusual Sunday afternoon in Spa.”

source: Ferrari

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