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Felipe Massa admits that he is now far more content at the wheel of his Ferrari than at the start of 2012. Furthermore, the Brazilian has elected to head in a slightly different car setup direction to team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Massa, championship runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in 2008, began this year with five straight Q2 eliminations and did not score points until the fourth race in Bahrain. He then finished sixth in Monaco, where he ran in the leading train of cars in the closing stages, and was tenth in Montreal despite spinning down the order at Turn 2.
“It’s true, I’m much happier, because I can drive the F2012 much more in the way I like now,” he says. “This means I am much more pleased with my driving and with the balance of the car and the pace I can run at. When that happens, of course you feel good and, for sure, all of the modifications and updates introduced helped in this process.
"Also important was the way we worked on the setup with my engineers; we changed many things in terms of the balance and found a good direction that suits me.”
When asked to verify if he is now trying a different approach to Alonso, Massa replied:
“I think so, not totally, but certainly we are working in a different way. Every driver has his own style - the way he turns the steering wheel or uses the throttle pedal - and if you don’t feel comfortable with something then it definitely doesn’t help. When something is not working for you, you move away from the right direction and lose performance, as you are not operating at 100 percent yourself.”
After seven of the 20 Grands Prix this season, Massa sits 14th in the Drivers’ Championship with 11 points to his name – 75 behind second placed Alonso.
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