Massa: One lap of Singapore is like two in Monaco

Modern life for a Formula 1 driver is not just about driving a car and having meetings with engineers. The team sponsors and partners also need the drivers to do some work on their behalf. So today started early for Felipe Massa, whose first port of call was the recently opened Ferrari Store in downtown Singapore. The Brazilian kept the fans happy, signing autographs and posing for photographs and after that, it was time to honor the fact that this is Shell’s 500th Grand Prix in partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. Two cars provided the backdrop, a Ferrari Challenge race car, painted with a special livery to commemorate the 500 races and, much to the delight of the younger fans, a Ferrari Formula 1 car, suitably liveried in Shell colors, made out of Lego bricks.

Once at the track, routine resumed as Felipe had his usual Thursday meeting with a the media. The first topic was the F2012’s performance on street circuits. “Monaco was a very good race for us, Hungary less so, but the Singapore circuit has more in common with Monaco, so I really expect we can have a car that works well here, giving us the possibility of picking up a good amount of points," said the Ferrari man. “This is always a very tricky and difficult race, when you take into consideration all the factors, such as the heat and humidity, the technical difficulty of the track layout and how the tires behave, so you need to deal with all these situations and also have a competitive car to do well."

Still on the subject of tires, Felipe explained this had not been an area that has caused any real difficulty this season, but it would play an important roles this weekend. “This year, tire warm-up is not a problem for us, showing we have improved a lot in this area. We have had a bit of degradation in some races, maybe more than we had expected, so at this track we will have to keep an eye on that: here you use the tires much more than in Monaco and one lap here is like two in Monaco. Of course the heat also makes life more difficult for the tires at this track."

It seems no Massa conference can be complete without some comment on his future. “It’s true that if you look just at the results, it seems I have gone a lot better since the summer break. But in terms of speed and race pace, that was there before and I was having good races, except that something always seemed to happen to deny me the results at the end. I just need to carry on trying to always do my best in the car and I am not too worried that I don’t have a signed contract at the moment. I feel more confident after the last few races, because it is results that count and I need to keep getting good ones, having good races with the hope of staying in Red."

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