Felipe Massa is sure his paddock life would be much easier had he become world champion in 2008. The Brazilian only missed out on winning the title four years ago because Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock mere seconds after Massa won his home race at Interlagos for the 2008 finale.
“If the last 17 seconds of that race had been different, the thing that would have changed is a bit more respect from the media,” Massa told the Express newspaper this week in London.
Particularly before an improvement in form for the 31-year-old recently, the media was piling pressure on Ferrari to dump the struggling driver.
“Even if the media would have been hard with me now because I am not having the results I want, I believe, had I won (in 2008), I would maybe get a bit more respect than I do now,” he insisted.
Massa has credited his recent surge in form not to a personal improvement, but rather the steps taken by Ferrari to speed up its once-ailing F2012 car.
“We have improved the car as well from Monaco onwards, so we clearly have a chance to fight for the podium at Silverstone,” he said ahead of this weekend’s British grand prix.
Massa said he has learned how to deal with the unique pressures of being a Ferrari race driver.
“Every year somebody is coming to Ferrari. You even have years when more than one driver is coming to Ferrari,” he explained. “I don’t really think about it or let it go inside of my mind. Maybe the first year I was here I did but, after I understood the situation, I don’t really worry.”