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Brazilian GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
16/10/2009

Felipe, can we have an update; a progress report. How are you?
Felipe Massa: Very good. I mean it would be better to be driving the car but I am quite happy that things are going quite well. The recovery was really great, so I can say I am the same as before. In the last three weeks, which was after the second operation, I started to do fitness and I have to say now I am really the same I was before the accident in terms of the physical side. I did the simulator, not really one day, it was 100kms in Fiorano in the 2007 car and it was very good. To be honest, I was pushing, I was not really slow, everything was normal. Even the consistency was good. Everything was really normal and I am really, really happy.

What is the next step. What more do you have to do?
FM: Now I can do everything, like I was doing before. The only big issue is that everything needs to be 100 per cent ready as our sport is a risk sport. We can have another accident. I hope not, but we can. It is better to be 100 per cent ready to recover from another accident. That is why we are waiting a little bit more and it will be better to wait until next year.

What is it like being here and not driving?
FM: Not easy. I have to say I want to be in the car, driving especially here in Brazil. It would have been fantastic to come back for this race. Unfortunately we need to wait a little bit more. It is not very easy to be on the outside just looking and not doing anything, just discussing what's happening on the test, but let's prepare everything for next year to be in a good shape.

Stefano, what more can Ferrari do to help Felipe?
Stefano Domenicali: Well, I think what we can do is first of all thinking ahead and looking ahead, to have a good car, a better car than this year. That is the thing that is fundamental, surely. Then, of course, working together and trying to prepare himself and see what we can do in terms of his fitness preparation and work with the engineers, the simulator. This is what we can do and what we will do. We know that it seems a long way to go but the first race next year will be much faster than what we all think and we need to do the right thing to be sure that Felipe will be totally 100 per cent ready with the team at that day.

Since the last race you have also announced your other driver for next year. An interesting mix of drivers. How are you going to manage them?
SD: It is more you are trying to put on the table. That is part of the game. We will have a great couple of drivers who know what the main focus is. The main focus is that the team's interest has the priority. Felipe has been part of our family for many years and he knows that very well. Fernando (Alonso), I am pretty sure, will understand that as that is the nature of our team and they have to respect it and there will be no problem at all.

Lewis, as you have mentioned, you come here in a very different situation to what you have had for the last couple of years. Explain that and how you are taking it.
Lewis Hamilton: Firstly, I would like to say welcome back to Felipe. It is great to see him. I have not seen him since he disappeared on us and it is the first time we have spoken, so welcome back. I think the sport has missed him and I have missed my battles with him, so I looking forward to next year and seeing him back on the grid and having some great fights again. Coming here it is a much more relaxed environment for me. Last year was extremely intense and I am sure it is the same for Felipe now. We can come here more relaxed. For me, at least I can be in the car and I am very happy I can be in the car and we approach it in the sense that it is not we want to win the championship this weekend. It is more or less go out and win the race, have a great race and see what we can do, so it is quite a different approach. A different feeling at least in the team.

Looking back a year ago when you were here for the championship and the outcome of the championship was almost influenced by another driver, although admittedly he was doing his own race, how much does a driver bear in mind there is a fight going on for the championship when he is racing? How easy is it to do that? Is it something you bear in mind at all?
LH: I think when you are on the track and you know that someone is battling, at least for me the way I see it, is you have respect for all the drivers. I would want to make sure I get out of the way and not ruin anyone's race. It doesn't have to be for the championship. It can be any race where you are maybe midfield or being overtaken. I know what it is like leading a race and you don't want to get held up. I always make sure that I do a good job, so the others will do a good job for me. I am sure the drivers are all aware of it.

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