I can’t decide if the opening lines to Ferrari’s own update on the Mugello testing is incredibly revealing, the usual passive aggressive Ferrari speak, both, neither, or it’s time for a drink.
It’s something, though. Wistful? Angry? I don’t know:
It’s a case of back to the good old days for Felipe Massa and the Scuderia, to a time when, free of regulatory restrictions, they would rack up mile after mile on the Mugello track, as they worked on developing the Formula 1 cars. Unfortunately, this Tuscan interlude is only three days long and yesterday, the first of those was run almost entirely in the rain.
I think we all know that the miles and miles and miles that Michael Schumacher used to rack up played heavily into the Scuderia’s success. Is it a rare sign of acceptance or realization that the team brings it up?
OK, maybe I’m honing in on that too much. But so often, Ferrari chooses its word so carefully — it is the only team that I think it is worth parsing their statements. Perhaps it is just a little poke in Bernie Ecclestone’s direction, a wedding gift.
Let’s go on to Felipe Massa’s thoughts:
“It’s obvious we need to make a good step forward as soon as possible if we want to be competitive. I am confident about the work we have done in these past few weeks, but we won’t really know if we have reached our targets until we get to Barcelona. We can be sure the other teams have also worked a lot, so if we want to make progress, we will have had to make a significant leap forward in performance terms. It is a very long championship, but we need to make up ground in the next three to five races if want to achieve our goals and this is a key moment to improve our situation.”
I don’t think there’s any hyperbole there.
Now, I guess I caught a little heck for ending my last Mark Webber to Ferrari post by suggesting Webber was “sucking up” to his new bosses with his positive comments about the track. It was tongue-in-cheek, of course.
But… is Felipe?
“I really enjoyed driving here at Mugello again as it is a sensational track. It was here that I did my first race in Europe when I was a kid and also my first test in a Formula 1 car, after which came many more with Ferrari.”
Well, not to his new bosses, but his old… oh, nevermind.