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GP Week : Issue 54
Massa: little by little FELIPE Massa says that the Ferrari team must continue its forward momentum over the second half of the 2009 season, following his first podium of the year at the German Grand Prix. Massa, who last stood on the podium when he won the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, was delighted with his third place finish on Sunday, but maintains that the team’s objective is to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. “It’s been such a long time since I made it to the podium! I really wanted it after a very difficult first half of the season. Little by little, we are improving and we will do all we can to get back to winning ways this season; I want to start hearing the Italian and Brazilian national anthems as soon as possible! “Maybe I could have managed to get one place higher, if we had brought the pit stop forward a bit, because I too was struggling with my tyres, but it’s easy to say these things with hindsight. “Before the race however, I didn’t think I’d end up on the podium as a place in the top five already seemed a lot to ask. But then we saw that cars that in theory are quicker than us ended up behind us and so we realized we had a good chance. We have to continue in this direction.” brawn looks to development push BRAWNGP team Principal Ross Brawn has confirmed that he believes his team needs to improve its development curve in their battle with Red Bull Racing, as recent results have shown them to have lost significant ground to their rivals. BrawnGP has a brace of new parts set to make the debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, including a new floor and new aerodynamic devices including wings and engine cover. “They [Red Bull] have moved away from us with their car and we have to do our best to limit the damage. We have some improvements coming which we need to try and introduce as quickly as we can. “We had a few races where the cars were quite close. We have not had any major upgrades, we have one coming for Hungary now, and we were pretty close and they made a pretty good step at Silverstone.” The German Grand Prix result left Brawn feeling disappointed as the Red Bull team notched up its third 1-2 of the season in a race in which Brawn was completely off the pace of their rivals. “Without doubt it was a very disappointing race for the team today although we were able to score some points to minimise the damage to our championship challenge. Quite simply, we didn’t have the pace to match the Red Bulls. We opted for a three-stop strategy for both cars to give ourselves the best possible chance of achieving a podium position. Both drivers were battling with the tyres throughout the race and trying very hard to keep them in the operating window whilst managing their graining issues. “We will take a close look at the lessons to be learned from this weekend before Hungary and hope to come back fighting there with some performance developments which should help us close the gap to Red Bull.”