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Thu Apr 24 14:35:12 SAST 2014

Massa in for the long haul

TEAMtalk Media | 19 July, 2012 13:500 Comments
F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice
Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari prepares to drive during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on July 6, 2012 in Northampton, England
Image by: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

After a horror start to the season, one would forgive Felipe Massa for wishing the rest of the year away, but he's doing anything but that.

Massa managed to qualify and finish inside the top ten on just two occasions over the first eight races, a period in which his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, won two races and scored a further two podium finishes.

Such a string of results saw calls for the Brazilian to be axed mid-season.

However, an improved showing at Silverstone where he qualified fifth and finished fourth has lifted spirits and Massa admits that while dreams of winning the Drivers' title died long ago, he still has goals for the remainder of the season.

"For sure, the Drivers' is still important to me," he told Ferrari's official website.

"Looking at where I was just before Silverstone, I am aware that are a lot of points still available over the coming eleven races. It is very important for me and I want to fight to get back into the top six or top five. That might be a difficult target to achieve, but you always need to set yourself a hard challenge. In addition, the Constructors' Championship is very important to us and the better I do in the Drivers' the more I help Ferrari."

The Brazilian admits that an upturn in fortunes has seen his outlook on the season change.

"It does not feel like a long year to me now, although everything is related to how well you are doing on the track," he said.

"In my situation, I have had some strong races recently and our car is getting better all the time, so you want to keep racing, because you have in mind that your performance can get even better. In our case, I expect that trend to continue all the way through to the final round of the championship.

"But if you are struggling, having hard races, then you really have to dig deep and in those circumstances, it can seem like a long road, although even then, you have the incentive to work hard and look ahead to every race in the hope of doing better. It's human nature that you have to push yourself harder when times are tough.

"Thankfully, at the moment, we are not in that position and I'm looking forward to all the remaining races, so the fact it is a long season is fine for me. Twenty races is definitely a long championship, but I am enjoying the fact that we have many races remaining to get some good results."

Mark Webber was one driver tipped as a possible replacement for Massa, but the Australian recently signed a new deal with Red Bull. Massa admits he is aware of what is going on in the driver market but that it is in no way his focus.

"Of course I keep an eye on what is going on with other drivers, just as anyone likes to know what is going on in whatever work they do," he insists.

"But the only thing that is important for me is that I keep performing in the same way I did in Silverstone. What happens in the drivers' market does not have a significant effect on my position. If I carry on performing the way I did in Silverstone, then I don't feel too worried about my future."

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