Massa: Red Bull have “significant advantage”

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2011

Massa was fifth in the afternoon session

Felipe Massa says he hopes to score his first podium finish of the season in Japan.

But he’s wary of the pace Red Bull showed in practice today: “Maybe we can fight for a podium finish and it?s a realistic goal.

“Sure, I always want to be able to fight for the win: it?s true that Red Bull has a significant advantage, but we must continue to believe in ourselves, because in the races, anything can happen.”

He said today had gone better than Friday practice at other races this year: “Overall, it was a good day: compared to so many other Fridays this year, the first impressions are better.

“The car behaved reasonably well, but it?s also true we will not know where we are compared to the others until tomorrow afternoon. We worked a lot on defining the best set-up, learning important things for the rest of the weekend.

“Tyre degradation seems to be rather significant, which will make the race even more open in terms of strategy: finding the right set-up on the car won?t be the easiest of jobs.”

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32 comments on Massa: Red Bull have “significant advantage”

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 7th October 2011, 10:08

    so Massa think podium is realistic. It would be interesting if Alonso say opposite.

  2. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 7th October 2011, 10:19

    I don’t think we will be seeing Massa on the podium, I’d like to see him prove me wrong though.

    • Dphect (@dphect) said on 7th October 2011, 10:51

      I think it will be a long time before we see Massa up there, or if it’ll even happen again.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 7th October 2011, 10:56

      alonso said that they have been a second slower than red bulls in singapoor so why not here in susuka & that Mclaren are faster than ferrari massa will be on podium only if Vettel,Webber,Hamilton,Alonso,Button will crash

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th October 2011, 12:39

      In my opinion, its important to note this

      Maybe we can fight for a podium finish

      In other words the team can fight to get a podium finish, with Massa supporting Alonso to achieve that! All of a sudden it does not sound that unrealistic any more :-D

      • Dphect (@dphect) said on 7th October 2011, 12:59

        Nicely spotted, maybe he’ll “destroy” Lewis again? I wonder if would ever be told to destroy Vettel’s when he gets lapped, somehow I doubt it.

      • Klaas (@klaas) said on 7th October 2011, 13:27

        How can Massa support Alonso if he’s always behind him?

        • vho (@) said on 7th October 2011, 15:28

          by holding up a faster car – just look at Massa and Lewis’ incident in Singapore. Lewis had to pit for a front wing and then serve a drive through penalty, dropping him down to 18th. Lewis fought back but couldn’t catch Alonso in the end. So Massa/Smedley’s tactic worked.

          • Klaas (@klaas) said on 7th October 2011, 15:46

            So it’s right to assume that if the car behind is faster, the driver in front (not being lapped of course) must imediately make way whithout putting a fight? Unless there’s proof that Massa at that moment in the race had a significantly slower pace than in his previous laps, all this Massa/Smeldey tactics to help Alonso is BS.

          • vho (@) said on 7th October 2011, 23:32

            Firstly there is no significant evidence that suggests Massa deliberately slowed down to help Alonso, but I’m lead to believe Massa may have ben running the harder compound and Lewis running the softer compound. Hence, Smedley’s comment about destroying Lewis’ race – meaning to mitigate Lewis’ advantage of running the softer tyre. It would’ve been foolish for Massa to purposely slow down as he had his own race to run. Lewis had a significantly faster car – evident in his 2nd overtake of Massa after his penalty was served and also evident that he fought back from 18th. One would be foolish to consider that Massa had the pace to race Lewis all the way to the end of the race considering Ferrari’s characteristic of losing pace towards the end of the race and McLaren’s ability to gain pace towards the latter part of the race – Massa’s resistance would’ve been futile but there would’ve been hope for the team if Alsono was able to build a big enough gap to Lewis and hopefully gain more points and keep Alonso in the fight for 2nd spot on the WDC – it’s common for team mates to help another in their quest for WDC.

            Compare Massa and Alonso in their ability to defend. Massa is very aggressive in defense and at times will be tangled in an incident and the net result being finishing lower than expected, whereas Alonso knows to let the faster car through without compromising your ability to finish as high as the car would allow – look at the overtaking moves that Webber has done with Alonso… they were spectacular and incident free.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th October 2011, 16:30

          Klaas, when a driver defends against a quicker, better rival it slows both of them down while the cars ahead get away and the cars behind catch-up, this is why you see Alonso allow a pass after only a few blocking moves so as to keep his average race speed high and give him a chance to move up the order if a car ahead has to slow down for whatever reason. Having Massa slow down these faster cars is a big help to Alonso but is bad for Massa, it’s team racing and Alonso is team-leader.

          • Klaas (@klaas) said on 7th October 2011, 18:40

            Why is the idea of Massa simply wanting to finish in front of Hamilton so impossible to accept? Every slow car holds behind the faster opponent as much as he can (within the borders of the rules of course) and Massa did so, we wasn’t waving or blocking, he was just driving until Hamilton clipped his tyre.
            When a driver knows he can’t resist the attack, he gives away his position, but when he thinks he can hold on and even screw the rival’s strategy it’s a different situation.
            Remember how frustrated Vettel got last season in Hungary when he finished behind a much slower Alonso only because the circuit didn’t allow him to overtake? Following your logic Alonso should have moved out the way and lose a position to Vettel only for Webber not to get too far? This is the point of racing – to finish in a position as high as possible and not to be concerned about the train of cars that forms behind you.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th October 2011, 19:02

          Hi again Klass, sure it all depends on whether you can successfully defend and what stage of the race you are in and what place you are in relative to your potential, I am not placing blame and definitely do not think either driver wanted a collision , but it takes 2 to tango and I think some of Massa’s defences have been as reckless as some of Lewis’ attacks.

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th October 2011, 2:18

          @klaas Probably in a Piquet Jr style :P

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th October 2011, 14:59

      He has two teams and a driver to beat in order to win, he needs to beat three of these to get on the lower step of the podium. He hasn’t done so often this year, if at all.

  3. LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 7th October 2011, 10:48

    Ahhm…both FP1 and FP2 were dominated by Button, in a McLaren…I am not naive enough to believe that Red Bull showed their real pace today, or that they won´t dominate the quali but today they didn´t had the typical “red bull” pace
    ….as for Massa on a podium…..it would be even a change of pace to see him anywhere NEAR a podium…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th October 2011, 12:41

      I expect Vettel to nail pole again as well, but it does look like Button (with Hamilton/Webber and maybe Alonso not far behind?) might be right on his tail all weekend to make it a good race!

    • vho (@) said on 7th October 2011, 15:31

      What we didn’t see was RB’s pace on full fuel load compared to McLaren. The McLaren was about 1sec + slower per lap on heavy fuel load. Lewis is saying the RB is running lighter, but I don’t see why they would sacrifice a FP to do half runs, you’d think they’d want to be simulating the race pace at the start of the race -heavy fuel and slightly used compounds that they would be using for quali.

  4. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th October 2011, 11:31

    I hope I win the lottery. But that’s not going to happen either…

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 7th October 2011, 11:46

    I too wish to see him on the podium but I doubt that it will happen.

  6. JCost (@jcost) said on 7th October 2011, 11:57

    Podium?
    The Japanese police should be warned. Massa is about to start a series of kidnaps, on his list: Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th October 2011, 12:55

    “Red Bull has a significant advantage

    Where have you been this season, Felipe?

  8. Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 7th October 2011, 13:41

    It looks like Massa is in the fight for win this weekend. Maybe he should be worry about of McLaren´s pace first…

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th October 2011, 13:45

    I think his best chance of a podium will come in Korea where they will have the super-softs on the car.

    • lopes (@lopes) said on 7th October 2011, 14:26

      Super-softs didn’t help Ferrari too much in Singapore…

      I think his best chance of a podium will be in Brazil, where he tended to really shine in the past – and all positions in the championship will likely be decided by then. Wouldn’t it be nice to see him back in the top spot, for once?

      (sigh…) I don’t think it’s going to happen, either.

  10. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 8th October 2011, 0:04

    Massa will not be on the podium, His best possible finish place will be 5th

  11. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th October 2011, 2:21

    Massa on podium… yeah and an opening season next year in Bharein, with a lot of RAIN in the middle of the desert

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