A quite-rightly chirpy Felipe Massa came to talk to the assembled media on the first day of the second week of testing in Barcelona. After completing his mammoth 168 laps, and topping the times for the day on 1:19.726, who can blame him! Read what he had to say:
On the day overall:
“I think it was a very positive day. When you see that you did 168 laps, it’s definitely fantastic, first of all for the job that the team have done, reliability, also for us to understand anything about the car, set-up, tyres, on the short run, on the long run like we did this afternoon. I’m so happy with the day, and I don’t remember another day where I did 168 laps in my career here, so that is definitely a positive. We will see where we are in Australia, but it is always nice to finish so positively!”
On how he feels physically after 168 laps:
“For an old boy? (laughs) It’s okay. I was training a lot, so I’m happy with everything I was doing this last month, training my neck, running, doing a lot for muscles so I am also heavier than I was before.”
“I actually trained a lot because I didn’t know how I was going to be in the car, and it was maybe a little bit better than I expected – I don’t know if that’s due to my training or if the car is like that, but I’m happy with everything I saw today.”
On overtaking, after following the Sauber on track:
“This will be Formula 1 now, so very difficult to overtake. Not just the Sauber, I was trying to pass him, and there was a Renault behind me, and you lose a lot of down force when you are behind. You guys will see this in the races, definitely less overtaking than we saw last year.”
On Lewis Hamilton’s comments that he’d love to see Williams take the fight to Mercedes:
“I think we’d love that a lot more than he would love it! We need to wait and see, but definitely the Mercedes has shown us already that it had amazing speed last week. Also, in everything they are doing they show to be very competitive. I don’t think we are at the same level as Mercedes, but if we can fight, maybe fighting for podiums, it will be a great job. We’ll need to wait and see in Australia.”
On a day like this making him happy he returned to F1?
“You always come back to trying to have a good season or trying to have a competitive car and good work. Definitely the work I did today was perfect, so I really hope we can see similar in the races and a result like this.”
On feeling more responsible for the team, and a rookie teammate?
“Sure – we need to pass the right information. The team is counting a lot on our information and on the results from the test, and everything you see changing parts, changing set-up, everything. Lance need to learn, he needs to understand the car and get more mileage, and I’m trying to pass everything I can definitely for the team, but also for him, and trying to make sure he’s learning as quick as he can, because if he’s ready and he’s doing a good job for the team, it’s for myself as a teammate too. When I met him, he was 8 years old, maybe one year older than my son!”
And here is that moment Felipe refers to, where 11 year old karting Champion Lance Stroll was signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy!