Felipe Massa is now almost back to his best form, the Brazilian’s manager Rob Smedley insists.
31-year-old Massa’s form was so low earlier this season that some seasoned pundits were predicting Ferrari would have to oust him long before his contract expires at the end of the year. But, for the first time in 2012, Massa was back in the decisive ‘Q3′ qualifying segment in Monaco and Canada, and then last time out in Valencia Ferrari hailed his strong performance despite a tumultuous race.
“Right now, going into Silverstone, there is very little that Felipe is lacking for him to be back where he was (in the past) in terms of driving and confidence in the car,” Briton Smedley, who is famously close to the diminutive Brazilian, said. “In terms of his pace in these recent races and the way he was driving and his confidence, he is a different driver to the way he was at the start of the season,” Smedley added.
“So, we are missing very little, maybe a tiny one per cent to make it all start happening for us.”
More generally, Ferrari’s rate of progress this season has been little short of sensational after a nightmare start for the F2012, with Fernando Alonso now clearly leading the drivers’ points standings.
“I think our chances are good at Silverstone this weekend, even if it’s no secret we still need to develop and have a quicker car,” said Smedley.