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  1. #521


    Heading for next week-end's Brazilian Grand Prix and into the final race of the season with a seven-point deficit on his rival, Felipe Massa says that the weight of the championship pressure is squarely on Lewis Hamilton's shoulders.

    "For sure, Lewis will try and put pressure on me," he commented. "But I have zero pressure, because I have nothing to lose. I have my people behind me and all the pressure will be on him, especially when you think about what happened at this race last year."

    The 2007 crown slipped through the McLaren driver's fingers when an electronic mishap saw him lose a few positions, allowing Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to clinch the prize – despite beginning the race with a seven-point deficit as well.

    The Interlagos track near Sao Paulo will again see a Formula One championship settled on the ultimate round. Thanks to his points lead, Hamilton can allow himself to end the race in fifth position if Massa is ahead of him.

    If Massa wins and Hamilton fares no better than sixth place, or if the Brazilian ends the race in second position and the Briton cannot reach eighth at best, then Felipe Massa will take the 2008 title.

    Whatever the scenario, the Ferrari driver has no choice but to finish at least in the top two.

    "It's true I have a tougher job than Lewis in terms of the points situation, but my own objective for the weekend is much more straightforward than his," Massa remarks.
    "I only have to focus on winning the race on Sunday afternoon, hopefully with my team-mate second behind me."

    "The only thing I am thinking about is winning. After that, the matter is not in my hands and we will have to wait and see exactly what and how much we have won," he adds. "It is impossible to predict what will happen in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but I think our car has always been very good at this circuit, even if I cannot explain exactly why."

    "Another plus for me is that I will have a huge following here in my home town," the Brazilian mentions as a bonus to his final challenge of the season. "I really like to race at home and I think I race better at home. Do I need to say I'm very motivated?"

    Massa also has no doubts on Ferrari's ability to gain maximum points at the Brazilian GP's famed Interlagos circuit.

    "We have always gone well here and I expect that to be the case at the weekend, whatever the conditions, in the dry or in the rain and in qualifying and in the race," he confidently predicts. "I can't wait for the final Sunday of the season."

  2. Default

    Michael Schumacher believes his record of seven world titles can be beaten - and that Lewis Hamilton could do it.

    Hamilton could clinch his first title in Brazil on Sunday - the McLaren driver has a seven-point lead over rival Felipe Massa of Ferrari.

    Schumacher told the BBC's Inside Sport programme: "I would say, absolutely, yes [Hamilton could win seven titles].

    "Nobody thought, even me, that I could beat [Juan Manuel] Fangio. Then I did. Records are there to be beaten".

    The 39-year-old said losing the record would not bother him.

    "I'm quite relaxed that one day it will happen - whether it's Lewis, whether it's Massa, or whoever.

    "It might be someone of the current or of the future that could or will do it. But I've got no problem about it."

    Schumacher said he rated Hamilton "really highly" but was reluctant to say whether he thought he was the best active driver in F1.

    Kimi is only in his second year with us, so he's still in transition time

    Michael Schumacher

    "When you think about what he has done in such a short time - just arriving and competing last year with [double world champion Fernando] Alonso and being very often quicker - that talks for itself.

    "Is he the best? Is he not the best? Is he better than Felipe Massa or not? You look at the circumstances; it is not always very straightforward or clear to understand from the outside."

    In the interview, Schumacher discussed the problems that led to Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen falling out of contention in this year's championship after leading in the first half of the season.

    "They [Ferrari] have to protect him, in many ways, because in the middle of the season there were developments made with the car, and Kimi just simply didn't get on with this one," said Schumacher, who still tests for Ferrari in his role as a consultant for the team.

    "The moment we went back with those changes, we put him back into competitive lap times.

    "Kimi is only in his second year with us, so he's still in transition time. Felipe is already quite a bit longer with us, so unfortunately we have to face those problems."

    Schumacher also discussed his relationship with Raikkonen and rejected the possibility of ever making a comeback to F1.

    The full Schumacher interview is on Inside Sport on BBC One, Monday 27th October at 2320.

  3. #523


    That just confirms that Michael is an idiot.

    But at least he defended Kimi.

  4. Default Ferrari threaten walk-out!

    Ferrari threaten walk-out
    2008-10-27 22:08

    Rome - Ferrari have indicated they could re-evaluate their commitment to Formula One if plans to standardise engines for all teams competing in the world championship become reality.

    Formula One has seen many teams taken over by car-makers in recent years with Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda joining Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz in using the sport as a showcase for their brands and cars.

    However faced with rising costs and calls for major reforms to help boost the sport the International Motoring Federation (FIA) announced last week plans to cut costs and standardise engines.

    The FIA said it will be open to tenders for the standardised engine and transmission to be used from 2010.

    Ferrari, in a statement released following a board meeting on Monday, said they "fully agreed with the need for a substantial and necessary reduction of costs".

    But the Italian firm said it had "major reservations" over any proposals that would lead to teams using the same engines: "... it would deprive Formula One of its whole reason for existing, which is based on competition and technological development".

    The statement added: "It is thanks to these elements that Ferrari has been a continual and integral part of Formula One since 1950.

    Played down fears

    "If these elements were to become obsolete, our Administrative Council (board) reserves the right, after consultation with its partners, to evaluate whether we remain committed to the discipline (of Formula One)."

    Following the FIA calls last week Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone played down fears that major manufacturers would quit the sport over the standard engine issue.

    Ecclestone said he "can't see any reason" why car-makers might leave over the plans, which he said would help them save money as the global economy stalls.

    "I don't see why they should leave. We are saving them an awful lot of money, I hope. I don't see why they should," he said.

    "Why should someone pull out because they are going to save a lot of money? All the technical things will still be there so they can show all their talents.

    "What we want is to reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive. That is the simplest thing."

  5. #525


    Quote Originally Posted by DipShyt Log in to see links
    Ferrari threaten walk-out

    So now it's Toyota and Ferrari...

    Good on them.

  6. Default

    I agree with Ferrari! Anyway, F1 is gonna become a boring sport to watch if this carries on.

  7. #527


    Michael Schumacher has urged Kimi Raikkonen to ask for Ferrari's help in overcoming his competitive slump.

    Raikkonen, the reigning world champion, has been reduced to a supportive role for team-mate Felipe Massa's title challenge, after losing ground mid-season.

    Retired seven time world champion Schumacher, who is now a Ferrari advisor and occasional test driver, believes the Finn's problems are purely technical.

    "I think I have to protect him in many ways, because in the middle of the season we made some developments to the car but Kimi simply didn't get on with these ones," the German said in an interview with the BBC.

    "The moment we went back with those changes, we got him back to competitive lap times," the 39-year-old added.

    But Schumacher also concedes that Raikkonen's naturally reticent character could be playing a part in his struggle to get back up to speed.

    While Massa openly embraces friend Schumacher's role as a mentor, Schumacher points out that his relationship with Raikkonen is 'very different'.

    "In a way it is his strength that he has a very focused vision, and maybe sometimes it doesn't always help him," the German said. "We could maybe help him more if he would ask for it."

  8. #528


    Felipe Massa has rejected claims he might resort to hostile tactics in his championship showdown with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton this weekend.

    The Ferrari driver was accused by Hamilton of crashing into him 'deliberately' in Japan earlier this month.

    Former team owner Eddie Jordan, meanwhile, recently advised Hamilton to 'take him out' should the Brazilian employ similar tactics at Interlagos.

    "Playing dirty has never been part of my game," Massa said in his native Sao Paulo. "I don't want anything to do with it."

    He insists that while winning Sunday's race is his focus, winning the title at all costs is not.

    "The only thing on my mind is winning the race. The rest does not depend on me. If I am champion, it will be a dream come true. If not, that's okay, I will try again next year," said Massa.

  9. Default

    Todays News

    Kimi Raikkonen has vowed to do all he can to help Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa succeed him as world champion.

    Massa is seven points behind British leader Lewis Hamilton in the title race, which will be decided in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

    "I'll be glad if I can do something for Felipe so he can win the title," said Raikkonen.

    Massa added: "It's a team sport and both me and Kimi know we have to do what is best for the team."

    Last season, Massa surrendered the lead at Interlagos to hand Raikkonen victory and the title, by a single point from Hamilton.

    Raikkonen returned the favour at this season's Chinese Grand Prix, boosting Massa's title chances by allowing the Brazilian to easily pass him for second place. 606: DEBATE
    Whoever wins the title will deserve it - 99% of the excitement of this final race is that we won't know the outcome until the checkered flag


    On home soil in Brazil, Massa needs to finish first or second to have a chance of denying Hamilton, and is relying on the full support of his team.

    "I know there have been comments about me overtaking Kimi in the final stages of that race [China], but they have come from people who don't really understand how the sport works," remarked Massa.

    "Psychologically, a racing driver always wants to finish in front, but all drivers have a contract with their team, so you are not racing as an individual.

    "When you are fighting for the championship, with only one driver in with a mathematical chance of winning, then all the teams in the pit lane would do the same.

    "That is, to put that one driver in a position where he has the best chance of winning. That is part of this sport."

    Raikkonen added: "Once you don't fight for the title any more, then for me, it does not make a difference if I finish second or third, as long as the points for Ferrari remain the same.

    "I couldn't win the drivers' title this year, but I assure you that I'll try again next year."

    In the McLaren camp, Hamilton is maintaining a level-headed approach to the season showdown in Brazil.

    Last year the Englishman had taken a seven-point lead to Brazil only to see his title chances evaporate on race day.

    After starting second on the grid, he ran wide on the first lap and then suffered a gearbox problem; though he recovered to finish seventh it was not enough to prevent Raikkonen taking the title.

    "Last year, without the experience, I was a bit lost," said Hamilton, who is aiming to succeed 1996 winner Damon Hill as Britain's latest world champion.

    "This year we go in with a much better approach but, despite that, I don't believe it gives us any reason to get ahead of ourselves.

    "We need to keep our feet on the ground and head into the race with the approach we had in China.

    "If we are able to do that, then we will be in a great position.

    "We know we don't have to win. We just have to do a solid job, and that has to be our target."

  10. Default

    Felipe Massa insists he is unfazed as he attempts to clinch the Formula One title ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The Ferrari driver trails Hamilton by seven points in the title race heading into Sunday's race at Interlagos.

    "I have zero pressure because I have nothing to lose," said Massa.

    "I have a harder job ahead of me than Lewis in terms of points but my gameplan for the end of the week is more simple than his - I must win."

    Hamilton, 23, only needs to cross the line in fifth place in Brazil to become the youngest world champion in the history of F1 following his victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.

    Massa, on the other hand, must finish first or second to have any hope of pipping the Englishman to a maiden world drivers' crown.

    However, the Brazilian believes knowing exactly what he has to do on his home track in Sao Paolo is an advantage.

    "My own objective for the weekend is much more straightforward than his," added Massa.

    "I only have to focus on winning the race on Sunday afternoon, hopefully with my team-mate Kimi Raikkonen second behind me.

    "The only thing I am thinking about is winning. After that, the matter is not in my hands and we will have to wait and see exactly what and how much we have won."

    Massa has been on pole in Brazil for the past two seasons and finished second to Raikkonen in 2007 after allowing the Finn past to collect the win he needed to become world champion.

    The 27-year-old is also confident his good form at Interlagos, coupled with the support of his home fans, could also play into his hands.

    "It is impossible to predict what will happen at the Brazilian Grand Prix but I think our car has always been very good at this circuit," stated Massa.

    "Another plus for me is that I will have a huge following here in my home town, I have my people behind me." 606: DEBATE
    Imagine what the reaction would be if Massa actually pulls off a shock and wins the title in his homeland

    Hamilton heads to Brazil with the same points advantage he held over Raikkonen last season but will aim to avoid repeating the misfortunes that resulted in him being denied the title.

    In 2007, the McLaren driver ran off the road trying unnecessarily to pass then team-mate Fernando Alonso before a gearbox problem left him at the tail of the field.

    He was able to recover only to seventh as Raikkonen won to snatch the title from Hamilton's grasp by a single point - and Massa believes the memories of that race could still affect his English rival.

    "All the pressure will be on him," he said. "Especially when you think about what happened at this race last year.

    "For sure, Lewis will try to put pressure on me but I can't wait for the final Sunday of the season."

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