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Massa keen to influence championship in Korea
Felipe Massa is determined to get among the championship contenders at this weekend's Korean Grand Prix in order to aid his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso's title chances.
It is now mathematically impossible for Massa to win the drivers' title after he took just four points from the last two races. His performances have been under scrutiny since Ferrari called on him to help Alonso's challenge and he came up short in both Singapore and Japan. However, Massa is confident he can turn his form around in Korea.
"Firstly we need to qualify well on Saturday and after that, in the race, I want to be in the middle of the battle for the drivers' championship, fighting with those five drivers who are chasing the title, which is the best thing I can do to help Ferrari's and Fernando's aspirations as we head for the end of the championships," he said. "Korea will be the last of a trio of Far Eastern races and I would like to arrive back in Sao Paolo for my home race, with a good result in my pocket. I know that everyone in the team, at the track and the factory is completely pumped up for the challenge of these last three races and I am equally keen to give them my best shot."
After working in the Ferrari simulator this week, Massa expects Ferrari to be competitive in Korea, which he believes is a mix between the circuits in Shanghai and Bahrain.
"It [the circuit] has a very long straight indeed and a mixture of high and low speed corners: we will therefore need to ensure that the F10 runs as efficiently as possible, delivering good top speed for that long straight, but also generating plenty of downforce," he told Ferrari's official website.
"These characteristics mean that first impressions suggest it could be similar to the Shanghai circuit, although you also have sections - hard braking into slow corners - which are more similar to what we see in Bahrain.
"Will it suit the F10? Well, apart from when the Red Bulls have sometimes run away from the field, Ferrari has been competitive at most circuits and there is no reason to think differently this time.
"We have seen this year how important it is to get everything working well right from the start of Friday practice, running reliably to get through the engineering programme without any technical problems. That will also be the case this weekend, but in addition, the first few runs on Friday will be the first time we discover how accurate has been the simulation work we have done back at the factory. That will also be the time to discover the real grip level on offer from the track surface as this is something that is not so easy to do without actually putting a car on the track."