15 de janeiro de 2008 | 17h26
Amigos, o Felipe Massa também falou hoje, lá em Jerez de la Frontera, e meu amigo Luis Vasconcelos, excelente jornalista português, este presente e me enviou a transcrição da entrevista. Também está em inglês. Mais tarde comento o bate-papo.
Q&A WITH FELIPE MASSA
Q – How has the test gone so far?
A – So far so good. Now I’m into my second day of testing with the car, we’ve been able to try a few things and I’m happy with the way things are going. This has clearly been a positive test for the new car, we have surely made a step forward in the handling of the car in the slow corners and the car is also good in the quick corners, as the F2007 already was. For me we improved the car in an area in which we were not really strong and we’ve also made the car easier to drive without traction control, compared to the F2007 in the same conditions.
Q – Has the handling of the car improved over the kerbs as well?
A – Yes, the feeling over the kerbs on the chicane is good too. So we can say we’re happy with the balance of the car from the first run and we didn’t need to work a lot on the set-up to achieve good lap times. So, for me, this is surely a very positive first test.
Q – Does the way of driving change a lot now that you don’t have traction control to rely on?
A – Yes, but it changes for all of us the same, especially in the slow corners. If it’s a 2nd or 3rd gear corner, when the torque is at its maximum, then you surely get wheel spin coming out of the corner if you’re aggressive with the throttle. With the traction control you’d floor it and the electronics took care of everything. Now you have to be careful with the throttle.
Q – It is a nicer feeling for the driver?
A – For us the nicer feeling is to have the maximum grip from the car, so it was nicer with the traction control, for me. Obviously now it’s more technical for the drivers, you have to drive in a different way, you have to be very careful with the throttle and you cannot be aggressive with it. You just need to hit the throttle a bit too aggressively and you immediately get wheel spin that makes you lose time. Obviously this is a problem just in the slow corners, as the downforce in the quick corners makes like easier for everyone and nothing has changed in those corners from last year.
Q – You said the F2008 has improved in the areas where the F2007 was not so strong, but have you found some small faults on it, for now?
A – So far we haven’t found anything wrong with it. But if we get to the first race and we’re not ahead of the field I’m sure we’ll find something wrong with it (laughs). For now we are going in the right direction, we’ve found a good baseline to work from, we are running in consistent times in the long runs and we’ve been quick too in the shorter runs. So far we’re happy but we know we have to work hard to improve the car, as you always need more speed in Formula One. The way the teams develop the cars between now and the first race count for a lot of the final result, so we have to work harder than the others in the next two months.
Q – How much will the start of the races change now that there is no more launch control available for the drivers?
A – For sure the driver has a lot more input into the way he starts a race, as until the end of last year the electronics were doing everything for us. We’ll have to be really focused at the start of the races, because every metre you lose at the start will mean many places lost until you get to the first corner. I believe we’ll see more changes of position at the starts in 2008 than in the near past.
Q – Last year you suffered a bit with reliability woes at the start of the season. How are things going in this area so far with the F2008?
A – So far we’ve had no reliability problems, so I’m pretty happy with the reliability of the car for now.
Q – Impressions of new car?
A – It looks good. It feels good. For sure we need to have more experience to be more sure about everything we are doing, but the first impressions we have are quite positive. The car looks quick, consistent, and also I felt a bit easier to drive on the slow corners, and over the curbs compared to last year’s car without traction control.
Q -Do you feel stronger than last year?
A – Yes. For sure every season you learn a lot and get more experience. And I definitely feel strong and looking forward to big fights this year.
Q – Last year you said after the first day that the car feels quicker than the old car. Do you feel the same about this one?
A – It is the same feeling, yes. In December we were here without traction control and now we are here with a new car without traction control, and different track conditions, but the new car already looks more promising compared to the old car on the same track. I was quite happy with the first impressions of the new car.
Q – Will Kovalainen be a threat to the Ferrari drivers?
A – I don’t know. It is too early to say. We saw him last year in a different team, a not very strong team, as Renault was not very good last year. It is too difficult to say.
Q – How important is it to have two new cars testing straightaway?
A – I think it is very important to get quicker into the development program, and to the first race. But it is even more important for the reliability, because we can work on two cars at the same time, and if there is a problem on one car the other one is running. And we learn the problems quicker.