Ferrari aim to help Massa

Felipe Massa says that has been left bemused by his performances so far this season and has admitted that he has struggled to get to grips with the harder tyre compound.

The Brazilian has been upstaged at Ferrari by the arrival of Fernando Alonso and has struggled to keep on terms with his team-mate during the majority of race weekends this season.

However, Massa believes that his problems lie with the new harder compound of tyre which has been used since the Bahrain Grand Prix

“Definitely I am not happy because the whole winter in tests I was 110 per cent happy with the car and the way I drove,” Autosport reports Massa as saying.

“Starting the first race I was 120 per cent happy with the car, and we did a great job in qualifying and the race. After, when we changed these tyres, we did all four races [since] with the same tyres, which is one harder than the tyres from Bahrain, I was struggling.

“I couldn’t use the tyres as I want, especially when they are new. So it is something I need to understand. It is not that you finish a lap and you do what you did and were slow. I am outside what I have to be and we need to understand what the problem is.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has stated that the Scuderia will now do all it can to solve Massa’s problems and try to get him back up to speed as quickly as possible.

“What we have to do on our side is to make sure that the car is one that he feels comfortable driving,” said team principal Stefano Domenicali. “I would say for the first time this weekend that was not really the case, because he started to complain about the level of grip of the car from the beginning, which never happened before. And for Fernando this was the first weekend when he was not so happy about it since the beginning.

“This week is very important to go back and see what has to be done around maybe Felipe’s car, maybe in set-up, preparation and downforce level because if we give him a good car he is very good and strong. I am sure about that. It is up to us to give him the maximum we can.”