Massa Praises Ferrari Reliability, in Doubt About Performance
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa topped one test session each this winter, while doing monster miles in the process. And when asked to evaluate the true worth of his car a few days before the start of the new season, the latter agreed that there is still some feeling of uncertainty inside the Ferrari garage related to the challenger's level of performance as compared to its rivals.
“The car appears to be reliable, but on its own this is not enough as the car needs to be quick too,” said Massa about his car, who only received some major aerodynamic updates in the last test of the season, at Barcelona.
“For the moment, reliability has been good and I don't think we can complain about performance, but we won't have a clear picture until all the teams are together on track in Melbourne,” he added for Ferrari's official website.
Additionally, he also referred to the new Pirelli tires and the way it'll change the sport in 2011, as he reckoned things will get more complicated for the drivers this season. First off, the new tires have a high level of degradation, while the difference between different compounds (hard vs soft) are far bigger than what Bridgestone had accustomed the drivers with in recent seasons.
“With the high degradation we are seeing, the races will be very different and we will need to pit several times, whereas last year many races needed just one stop. It will also be interesting to see how the tires operate when we reach the warmer countries, although maybe not Australia, as it is not expected to be so hot in Melbourne next week.”
"Also, the difference between the soft and hard compounds is far greater which might even change the way you approach with a view to what tire you will then use to start the race the next day.”
"Certainly the drivers will have more influence over when we make the pitstops in the race: of course there will be a plan regarding our strategy made before the event, but I expect the situations to change far more quickly during the races with a driver feeling when tyre degradation is starting and choosing to pit early to get ahead of the car in front, or in the case of a safety car period. It will be very different and maybe more exciting for the spectators.”