Felipe Massa not worried by recent poor run and insists pace is there to return to form
Brazilian targeting more consistency; welcomes tyre revisions
By James Galloway at Silverstone. Last Updated: 22/07/13 1:42pm
Felipe Massa says he knows "what I have to do" to secure his future at Ferrari for another season and has expressed confidence that he does have the pace to end his poor run of results.
What had been a promising start to the season for the long-time Ferrari driver has given way to difficulties over the last two months, which have yet again served to kick-start speculation over the likelihood of him getting a contract renewal at Maranello.
Since finishing on the podium at the Spanish GP in early May, Massa has scored just 12 points and crashed at least once during the course of each of the four subsequent race weekends - including race-ending accidents in Monaco and the Nurburgring.
Massa's was only awarded a one-year contract extension last Autumn but Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo made clear after the last race in Germany that the Brazilian retained their "total confidence" and they were in no rush to reach a decision over his future.
Speaking to reporters after his morning of tyre testing at Silverstone on Friday, Massa himself appeared relaxed about the task ahead of him.
"I know what I have to do. I'm just concentrating on good results," he said.
"The pace is there so I'm not worried because I showed in most of the races to be honest [on] the pace. Things have happened not to finish the race and we just need to concentrate and try to keep the pace and just finish the race. I know if nothing strange happens I will finish in a good position."
The 2008 title runner-up acknowledged that he needed to deliver strong results on a more regular basis - even if he still feels luck hasn't been on his side.
"I need to improve a little bit my consistency - just finish the race, that's the most important thing," Massa added.
"Not just finish the race but also I was not very lucky, like here in the race with the tyres, in Bahrain with the tyres. Also myself, just trying to finish the race in a consistent way."
While lead Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso opted not to appear at the Silverstone test this week, Massa's participation had always been considered a given in wake of his recent difficulties, once the FIA allowed race drivers to run.
The Brazilian said he had welcomed the opportunity to drive the car outside a race weekend mid-season.
"It's always important to test. We know that it's always difficult to test during the season," Massa admitted.
"We have also three weeks from one race to the next, so happy to be here testing and just doing some understanding as well on the tyres. So I hope that can be interesting for the next race."
Having had to focus exclusively on testing Pirelli's revised tyres during his 69 laps on track on Friday, Massa said the situation was certainly much improved from the British GP race weekend three weeks ago, when the race was marred by a succession of high-speed blowouts, and that the new-look tyres also appeared to have a lower working range.
"It's difficult compared to the tyres we were using two races ago, but I think it's more or less the direction of the race last," he explained.
"Last race we had already the Kevlar on the construction, so the tyre's a little bit more consistent. We could see here the consistency on the long run is a lot better than the race here in Silverstone, so I think the tyres work in the lower temperature so it makes the car more consistent. Not so much for the first lap - the first lap isn't a big difference.
"But for the consistency and the safety at least it's better. Nothing happened here on the tyres, [no] blowing, punctures that we were seeing in this race. That's the most important thing to be honest."