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Massa feeling confident for 2009 - Last year's runner-up is ready for the new season to begin

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

Even the most hard-hearted Lewis Hamilton fan must have felt a little sorry for Massa when that last minute overtaking move by the McLaren stripped him of the title he had held for just a few seconds.

Nevertheless, Massa wants no sympathy, and believes that he has become a much stronger driver because of how close the title fight was. Taking heart from that famous phrase: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Massa has said that it's no good making excuses about what happens in Formula 1, you have to deal with it and move on.

He also takes the optimistic view that the championship was clearly a great one, to see the fight go down right to the wire. Ferrari were competitive until the very end of the season, and Massa takes heart from that.

It also appears that Massa actually wants to follow in Hamilton's footsteps, with the rookie driver successfully winning the title the year after a near miss. Following that logic, next year will be Massa's turn.

Talking about how the 2008 season proves you need to hold on to your fighting spirit, Massa said:

It showed that you can never give up, things can happen even in the last laps, the last corner of the championship. Unfortunately this came in a kind of negative way because we lost the championship at the end of the race.

But it showed that the championship is not decided at the last corner, it is decided over 18 races. So if you lost a point, even one point can be enough to lose the championship at the end.

- Felipe Massa

For the 2009 season, Massa is happy with the progress Ferrari made in Bahrain, despite the bad weather they experienced there. He believes it was definitely worth the extra money to travel to the desert, as conditions there gave them some valuable data that they wouldn't have found in Europe.

With a good feeling about the car under him, Massa is in the right frame of mind for a competitive season:

I think it's an extra push to be even more prepared for this season. For sure, I want to push even more, I want to be even more competitive and I want to win more races and fight for the championship again. Hopefully we can win. It would be better to win not in the last corner, but to be a little bit more comfortable.

- Felipe Massa