Felipe Massa denied he is now playing a ‘number two’ role to Fernando Alonso at Ferrari having given up a win for his team mate in the German Grand Prix.
Speaking in a press conference at the Hungaroring Massa added that he would not hand over a win to Alonso if he is in the same situation again this weekend.
Here’s part of what Massa was asked during the press conference:
Q: (Livio Oricchio ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ O Estado de Sao Paulo) Felipe, after the last race, I asked you if you were not worried about your image in Brazil, and you said ?óÔé¼?£absolutely no.?óÔé¼Ôäó And after almost a week, we realise what happened there. What?óÔé¼Ôäós your comment? People say that you betrayed the country.
FM: For sure not. I will always do everything I can for my country. For me my country is the most important thing. For sure, I have already proved many times in my life many things I did in my life, in my career, what I?óÔé¼Ôäóm able to do for my country, and as I said, definitely whoever is thinking like that is completely wrong. I?óÔé¼Ôäóm doing everything I can, I will always do everything I can for my country, which is the most important thing for me, because it?óÔé¼Ôäós my home.
Q: (Ian Parkes ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ The Press Association) Felipe, welcome back here first of all. In the post-race press conference in Germany, obviously neither yourself nor Fernando (Alonso) would concede that team orders had taken place. Obviously what followed was that the FIA found Ferrari guilty and fined them, and the matter is now going before the World Motorsport Council. On that basis, can we get your reaction to the fact that the FIA found Ferrari guilty? And also you said that you were looking forward to fighting for victory here. If a similar situation to what happened in Germany was to arise here, would you be allowed to fight for victory?
FM: As I said, there?óÔé¼Ôäós no real point in going back to last weekend. We need to think about the present. I think we have spoken a lot about what?óÔé¼Ôäós happened in the last race. So yes, I will fight for victory here in whatever conditions.
Q: (Arianna Ravelli ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ Corriere della Sera) So if you are in the same situation this weekend, you will react in the same way or not?
FM: I will win.
Q: (Anne Giuntini ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ L?óÔé¼ÔäóEquipe) Felipe, we understood that when you say that you are working for the team, at least when you said it last week, working for the team now risks to be working for your team-mate.
FM: For sure not. I?óÔé¼Ôäóm working for the team and we know how important it is to work for the team.
Q: (Giuntini) But if your team-mate has to fight to be World Champion, it?óÔé¼Ôäós mainly himself?óÔé¼?ª
FM: Well, I think you remember very well what has happened in the past, no? In 2007. You remember very well what?óÔé¼Ôäós happened in 2008, no? So I don?óÔé¼Ôäót think you really have to go through all the points. For sure, if the team really has the chance to win the championship I want the best for the team.
Q: (Sarah Holt ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ BBC Sport) Felipe, have you had assurances from the team that you will be able to be allowed to continue fighting for victory? Have you spoken to them about that? It hasn?óÔé¼Ôäót affected your motivation?
FM: Sure, for sure I?óÔé¼Ôäóve spoken to everybody inside the team. As I said, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm not here really just to race, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm here to win. That?óÔé¼Ôäós really my point. As long as I am in the condition to win, we need to go to the end, to fight for victory. As long as the condition is different then I definitely want the best for the team. I work for the team, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm professional and I think everybody needs to understand my point.
The other drivers present were also asked about Massa’s situation.
Rubens Barrichello, who famously handed over a win to Michael Schumacher in the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix while driving for Ferrari, was first to reply:
Q: (Holly Samos ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ BBC Radio Five Live) This is a question for Rubens, Felipe, whoever else might want to answer: should the team order rule be scrapped? What?óÔé¼Ôäós your view?
RB: It?óÔé¼Ôäós not up to us to decide. Whenever they said team orders should not take place, other ways of telling the driver to back off were introduced. So in that respect, you should think, ?óÔé¼?£OK, so this should not take place?óÔé¼Ôäó and then the team should decide to do whatever.
I just think that we should do something to stop this thing, because at the end of the day, it could get into a bit of drama here. When you are racing, you want to beat the other one, but I wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót feel nice, I wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót feel good if you tell me ?óÔé¼?£I?óÔé¼Ôäóll give you this which makes you faster than the other one?óÔé¼Ôäó and then you win. I don?óÔé¼Ôäót like that, I never did and that?óÔé¼Ôäós why I had to make changes in my life and that?óÔé¼Ôäós why I changed teams and that?óÔé¼Ôäós why I moved on.
So I think it?óÔé¼Ôäós in the hands of the top people to change that because you should be allowed to race. What?óÔé¼Ôäós the problem? If you don?óÔé¼Ôäót win the championship by one point, so be it. You had your chance, you had to go, and then you win the championship by one point because somebody let you win? What?óÔé¼Ôäós the point? That?óÔé¼Ôäós my view.
If I have to be a bad guy to be World Champion, I don?óÔé¼Ôäót care for that. I will teach my boys the same way my father taught me and I?óÔé¼Ôäóm happy with that.
Heikki Kovalainen: I don?óÔé¼Ôäót really want to get into this debate too much. I?óÔé¼Ôäóm just here to race.
Robert Kubica: It?óÔé¼Ôäós not so simple, I think. We are all working for our teams. I think the most important?óÔé¼?ªunless you like it or you don?óÔé¼Ôäót like it is the team. If there?óÔé¼Ôäós a chance or an opportunity to help the team to score better results or whatever in the final standings, it?óÔé¼Ôäós normal that you are asked to do it. It?óÔé¼Ôäós normal that you will do it, and that?óÔé¼Ôäós very simple. I know it?óÔé¼Ôäós not always easy to let your team mate by but sometimes it?óÔé¼Ôäós important for the team, and that?óÔé¼Ôäós how it was working, that?óÔé¼Ôäós how it will work for many years, so unless we say it?óÔé¼Ôäós not allowed to overtake your team-mate, because I think this is the only rule to stop it, but you cannot put it. It was like this ten years ago, it will be like this in the next ten years.
Heikki Kovalainen was later asked again about team orders but refused to comment on it.
2010 Hungarian Grand Prix
[catlist id=6673 numberposts=10]Browse all 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix articles
Image (C) Ferrari spa