Massa says he will not let Alonso pass him again

Last Updated: Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:46

Budapest (Hungary): Felipe Massa said
Thursday he has no intention of letting Fernando Alonso go
past him again if the two are fighting for the win at the
Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

"I will win," Massa said when asked about a possible
repeat of last week`s scenario at the German GP in Hockenheim.

Ferrari was fined USD 100,000 after Hockenheim when
stewards determined that the Italian team had sent Massa radio
messages instructing him to let Alonso take the lead from him
on the 49th lap of the race. Massa seemed to comply and
finished second while Alonso went on to win the race.

Massa, who suffered a season-ending crash here in 2009,
said he would quit racing if he was considered a team`s No. 2
driver.

"The time they say I am the No. 2 driver I will not race
anymore, so I am not (No. 2)," Massa said ahead of Sunday`s
25th edition of the Hungarian GP at the Hungaroring track.

Massa said he had learned from the Hockenheim experience.

"I`m very strong and I`m looking for the victory," Massa
said. Two-time world champion Alonso, who has two wins this
year, brushed off questions from reporters about the
controversy, insisting that he was focused on the upcoming
race.

"Hungary is our main target right now," Alonso said. "(We
are) completely concentrated on this race."

While Alonso insisted that Ferrari`s interests were the
priority, he avoided saying whether he would let Massa pass
him if that was preferable from a team standpoint.

"Every race is different, with different circumstances
and possibilities, and we will decide what is best," Alonso
said. "We are privileged to drive for Ferrari and we know what
we have to do."

Alonso picked up 25 points for winning at Hockenheim,
while Massa collected 18 for second place. The extra points
for the Spanish driver could prove critical in what is shaping
up to be a tight drivers` championship.

McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton leads the standings on 157
points, with teammate Jenson Button second on 143 points. The
two Red Bull drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, each
have 136 and Alonso is fifth with 123.

Alonso dismissed criticism that he would be a "dirty"
champion because of the manner of his victory in Germany.

"I don`t think anything has changed. I`m still the same
and I will fight always ... for the team and the sport,"
Alonso said.

"Naturally, I have not been affected at all. If we lost
even one percent of our concentration because of what`s been
said, we`d be finished."

Williams driver Rubens Barrichello was more supportive of
his fellow Brazilian Massa.

"I was very sorry to see what he had to go through. It
was such a bad thing ... and I wished he didn`t go through
that," Barrichello said, ahead of his 299th race in Formula
One.

In 2002, Barrichello was involved in a similar situation
when he was forced by Ferrari to let teammate Michael
Schumacher pass him for the win on the final straight at the
Austrian GP. Barrichello was also ordered to concede second
place to Schumacher at the same track the year before.

Schumacher won the 2002 championship with twice as many
points as second-place Barrichello but since 2003 teams have
been banned from giving drivers orders which determine race
results.

"You should be allowed to race," Barrichello said,
although he added that teams still had ways of letting their
drivers know if they were expected to back off or let a
teammate pass them.

"If you don`t win the championship by one point, so be
it," Barrichello added. "If you win the championship because
somebody let you win, what`s the point?”

"If I have to be a bad guy to be world champion, I don`t
care for that."

Massa said he met Thursday with members of the rescue
team who lifted him out of the cockpit after his crash last
year but that the accident would not affect his performance on
Sunday.

"I don`t remember a single thing from the accident,"
Massa said. "When you close the visor ... you just think about
doing your best."

Barrichello, whose car lost the spring which hit Massa on
the helmet and caused the crash, said Massa had moved on from
the accident, and had even used it to his advantage while the
two of them were playing poker earlier this year in Brazil.

"He put the helmet in which he had the accident on the
table and it completely destroyed my night," Barrichello said.
"I started losing money and he just had fun with it. I think
he`s going to drive flat-out."

Massa was hospitalized for nine days in Hungary after
suffering multiple skull fractures. He was placed in an
induced coma and later had plastic surgery in Brazil.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:46

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