Massa remains optimistic

Felipe Massa remains fervently optimistic of winning the Formula One world title on home turf in a fortnight.

That is despite the fact the Ferrari star was blown away by Lewis Hamilton in Shanghai this weekend, and he now faces a seven-point gap to the championship-leading McLaren driver.

With Hamilton taking a pole-to-flag win, Massa was unsurprisingly handed second place by Kimi Raikkonen late on in the Chinese Grand Prix as the outgoing champion eased up to allow his team-mate by.

It was abundantly obvious, but to be honest it was never going to be any different as it keeps Massa in touch, and now he will have 100,000 passionate Brazilians roaring him on at Interlagos.

“We are in a difficult position, but we know many things can happen in one race,” said Massa.

“We just need to keep our heads up because it is not finished yet, so I’m very optimistic, and we need to be, everybody in the team.

“We need to be together, to concentrate on doing our job in the best way we can to try and win the race.

“Whatever then happens, happens. That’s the way we are going to approach it, knowing we are still fighting for the title.”

Home advantage may well play a part, with Massa adding: “When you play at home you usually play better.

“I have had very good experiences in Brazil for the last two years so hopefully we can repeat that and have a great experience again.

“I just have to hope the circuit is better suited to my car, which I’m sure will be much better in Brazil than we had here.

“It was very difficult to follow Lewis and fight with him. We were completely on the limit trying to reduce the gap.

“I was trying to push, as Kimi was trying to push, to get closer to Lewis, but it was not possible. Unfortunately, Lewis had the better car for the whole weekend.”

Raikkonen, meanwhile, made no apology for slowing down on lap 49 of the 56-lap race to aid Massa’s cause.

Although team orders are banned in Formula One, Raikkonen acted of his own volition.

“I’m not in a position to challenge for the championship,” stated Raikkonen.

“I know what the team expects, and I know what we want which are results. It is racing.

“I have nothing to lose, or win in a way. I am driving for the team and so I’m happy for us to achieve the maximum points we can, which is what we need.

“What happened today doesn’t make any difference to my season.”

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