Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Massa: It's like driving different cars

Friday 12th April 2013

 RSS

Share:

Massa: It's like driving different cars

Massa: It's like driving different cars

The difference between the medium and soft compound Pirelli tyres is so great that it completely changes a car's handling says Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian was seventh fastest in Friday's first practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, 1.378 seconds off the pace of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes. All the teams ran on medium compound tyres during the session and Massa immediately complained of graining on his front right tyre.

However, with a switch to soft tyres for the second session, the Ferrari's came to the fore with Massa topping the charts and Fernando Alonso third fastest.

While unhappy with the F138's performance on the medium compound, the 31-year-old believes that the results on the soft tyres give the team reason to be optimistic ahead of Sunday's race.

"Today, I immediately had a good feeling in the car and even if, at the start, I was not completely happy with the performance of the Medium compound and we were not as quick as our rivals, the times were good all the same," he explained.

"When I fitted the Softs, the car improved a lot and this meant I was able to set the fastest time of the day. It was impressive, like driving two completely different cars.

"Our race pace looks competitive, the car is handling well on both types of tyre and degradation was not excessive, even if the higher wear rate of the Soft compared to the Medium compound will be an important factor when it comes to choosing the right strategy. I feel confident and hope that the whole weekend can keep moving in this direction".

Given the variance in the tyre performance, Alonso believes that the grand prix will be won and lost by race strategy.

"Once again, tyres will play a key role in this Grand Prix because of the high level of degradation over a long run. We will have to ensure we pick the right strategy for Sunday, as well as deciding on which of the new parts we tried this morning to fit to the car. As usual, we can expect a long evening studying the data," said the Spaniard.

Keeping Cool In Abu Dhabi

Editor's Picks

Gallery: Title Celebrations

Gallery: Title Celebrations

Lewis, his family and Mercedes all celebrated the Brit's 2014 Drivers' Championship success in Abu Dhabi...

Winners & Losers: Abu Dhabi

Winners & Losers: Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton finally achieved the points difference that all his 2014 performances have justified...

The 2014 Season In Numbers

The 2014 Season In Numbers

The Championships both went to Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton securing the drivers. But who finished P6? Find out...

NTF1News: Disney Movie

NTF1News: Disney Movie

Among news items this week, tales of the Honey Badger, plus Disney's new movie about the engine row - Un-Frozen...

Winners & Losers: Brazilian GP

Winners & Losers: Brazilian GP

Nico Rosberg kept his lock-ups to a minimum as Turn 4 came back to haunt Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos...