Felipe Massa Still Positive About Podium Chances In Melbourne
Scuderia Ferrari's Felipe Massa has been quoted as saying he still believes there is a chance that the Italian based team can still achieve a podium finish in the Formula 1 2012 season opener in Australia in two Sundays time.
It has been well published during preseason winter testing that the F2012 has not delivered the data and results the team had wished for. This lead to a lot of debate about whether the Ferrari will be able to be a threat to the McLaren & Red Bull Racing drivers at the start of the season and even if they have slipped behind fast looking Lotus & Mercedes Formula 1 Teams.
Ferrari who struggled throughout the whole of the last campaign - only picking up one victory in the British GP - deserted the development of there 2011 competitor early on and started to focus on there car for the 2012 season. Both drivers going into winter testing had been confident with Fernando Alonso saying the new design was both "radical and aggressive".
Despite this just weeks before winter testing the FIA made a choice to ban an innovation which both Ferrari & Lotus F1 Teams had on there car. The choice to ban active ride height frustrated Ferrari & Lotus as it was a main feature on the cars and they believe it was an innovation which could see them at the top of the field. To compound this frustration the FIA had before deemed the device legal and then changed there minds after a closer look at the regulations.
How it worked
The active ride height was able to keep the front end of the car stable both under breaking where the front section normally dips due to the forces being applied. Along with this the design allowed the front end to also stay stable under high speeds where it would be regularly moving.
This would have enabled the car to be more predictable and consistent helping to produce a faster car. Along with this the airflow through the car would have been of a greater quality helping provide a higher level of grip.
Despite all these set backs and Technical Chief Pat Fry believing the podium was out of reach for the 16 time constructor world champions Felipe Massa has said he feels a podium is possible in Melbourne.
"Certainly there are some teams that seem very strong like Red Bull; McLaren and Mercedes and Lotus seems very quick to me. Then there's a group that has got closer and will fight within the space of a few tenths with Sauber, Toro Rosso and Force India. Still, I believe that we can fight for the podium: it's the only thought I have in my head. But we only have to wait a few more days to have the answer." Felipe Massa off the Autosport website.
Along with having confidence he and Fernando Alonso can challenge for the podium in Melbourne Massa has also praised the team he has behind him and is showing complete faith in the development abilities this year.
"I have a very strong team and I have lots of faith in their capacity to be able to develop the chassis during the season. The truth is we will only discover the situation in Australia when we are all in the same conditions: little fuel in the tank and the softest tyres on the car." Felipe Massa off the Autosport website
Ferrari this week held a top board meeting at Maranello to sort out the situation they are in and along with this have confirmed "minor" changes to there design on the chassis. Surely this means that the struggling F2012 could not be a main competitor in Melbourne, What do you believe?
Quotes & source from http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97915
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