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 – 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 ‘absolutely no.’ And after almost a week, we realise what happened there. What’s 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’m able to do for my country, and as I said, definitely whoever is thinking like that is completely wrong. I’m doing everything I can, I will always do everything I can for my country, which is the most important thing for me, because it’s my home.
Q: (Ian Parkes – 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’s 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’s happened in the last race. So yes, I will fight for victory here in whatever conditions.
Q: (Arianna Ravelli – 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 – L’Equipe) 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’m 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’s mainly himself…
FM: Well, I think you remember very well what has happened in the past, no? In 2007. You remember very well what’s happened in 2008, no? So I don’t 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 – 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’t affected your motivation?
FM: Sure, for sure I’ve spoken to everybody inside the team. As I said, I’m not here really just to race, I’m here to win. That’s 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’m 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 – 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’s your view?
RB: It’s 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, ‘OK, so this should not take place’ 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’t feel nice, I wouldn’t feel good if you tell me ‘I’ll give you this which makes you faster than the other one’ and then you win. I don’t like that, I never did and that’s why I had to make changes in my life and that’s why I changed teams and that’s why I moved on.
So I think it’s in the hands of the top people to change that because you should be allowed to race. What’s the problem? If you don’t 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’s the point? That’s my view.
If I have to be a bad guy to be World Champion, I don’t care for that. I will teach my boys the same way my father taught me and I’m happy with that.
Heikki Kovalainen: I don’t really want to get into this debate too much. I’m just here to race.
Robert Kubica: It’s not so simple, I think. We are all working for our teams. I think the most important…unless you like it or you don’t like it is the team. If there’s a chance or an opportunity to help the team to score better results or whatever in the final standings, it’s normal that you are asked to do it. It’s normal that you will do it, and that’s very simple. I know it’s not always easy to let your team mate by but sometimes it’s important for the team, and that’s how it was working, that’s how it will work for many years, so unless we say it’s 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
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- From the stands: Nikolai Vogler watches two races in one week
- Ecclestone asks Hungarian President “Was your crown made in China?”
- Michael defends Barrichello strategy
- How F1 can make pit stops safer
- 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- A move too far: Schumacher forces stewards to take a stand
- Who was the best driver of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend?
- Red Bull mark 100th F1 start with win (Hungarian Grand Prix facts and stats)
- Red Bull fly to victory but FIA set to clip their wings (Red Bull race review)
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