"Over the past few years, I've got used to the idea of preparing for the final race of the season at home here in Sao Paolo and I'm making the most of it, as next year there will still be one more grand prix to go after the round at Interlagos," writes Felipe Massa in his latest blog for Ferrari. "I came home immediately after the race in Shanghai, which was good from a team point of view as we picked up fourteen points and extended its lead in the Constructors' Championship, but from my perspective, the title race got even tougher, as Lewis won and so I have lost an additional two points.
"In Shanghai, it was obvious right from Friday practice that McLaren were going to be very hard to beat," he continues. "We saw they were very competitive, but you can never be completely sure what programme they are running, so it's best to concentrate on your own work, sorting out your own car and not start worrying about the opposition. Then on Saturday, we saw the trend continue and so we knew qualifying and the race would be tough. It's fair to say that our car, the F2008 has been inconsistent in terms of its performance: in some circumstances we are extremely competitive and at others a little bit less so. This is due to a variety of factors which you have to take into consideration, such as the track layout, the track surface and how the tyres are working. But if you look at the whole field, this is equally true of other teams. Look at our closest rivals for example: in China they were quicker, but in Singapore and Japan our race pace was much better. The problem is that we didn't get the most points at these races.
"I know there have been comments about my overtaking Kimi in the final stages of the Shanghai race, but they have come from people who don't really understand how the sport works. It is a team sport and both me and Kimi know we have to do what is best for the team. For sure, psychologically a racing driver always wants to finish in front, always wants to win: it doesn't matter if you are playing a friend on a computer game or driving a Formula 1 car. But all drivers have a contract with their team and so you are not racing as an individual. When you are fighting for the championship, with only one driver with a mathematical chance of winning, then all the teams in the pit lane would do the same, which is to put that one driver in a position where he has the best chance of winning. That is part of this sport.
"As for the final race, yes it's true I have a tougher job than Lewis in terms of the points situation, but my own objective for the weekend is much more straightforward than his. I only have to focus on winning the race on Sunday afternoon, hopefully with my team-mate second behind me. The only thing I am thinking about is winning. After that, the matter is not in my hands and we will have to wait and see exactly what and how much we have won.
"Another plus for me is that I will have a huge following here in my home town. Brazilian people love Formula 1, love motor racing and it is really big passion for them. I really like to race at home and I think I race better at home. Do I need to say I'm very motivated?! I love this track, I grew up here and I know all its little tricks and secrets. I first raced here when I was eight years old in a go-kart, as the karting track is inside the circuit complex. The first time I actually raced on the proper circuit was in 1998 in a Formula Opel race, although I can't remember what position I finished. The track is not bumpy anymore as they did a great job on the surface last year. It's great to drive and over the weekend the atmosphere will be really special. The whole event is one of the best on the calendar in my opinion.
"Since arriving in Brazil, I've been doing my usual physical preparation and spending time with my family, but on Monday, the build up to the race weekend starts with a lot of promotional events for sponsors. On Monday, I am going to visit a school in my role as an ambassador for UNICEF. I like doing this kind of work, because first of all, it's always nice to help people who really need it and secondly, I find it very motivating for myself. On Tuesday and Wednesday I have sponsor events, like the launch of the Ferrari California at the Sao Paulo Motor Show, then on Thursday morning, the traditional Shell press conference at the Transamerica Hotel before heading to the track for the real start of the weekend.
"It is impossible to predict what will happen in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but I think our car has always been very good at this circuit, even if I cannot explain exactly why. We have always gone well here and I expect that to be the case at the weekend, whatever the conditions, in the dry or in the rain and in qualifying and in the race. For sure, Lewis will try and put pressure on me, but I have zero pressure, because I have nothing to lose. I have my people behind me and all the pressure will be on him, especially when you think about what happened at this race last year. I can't wait for the final Sunday of the season."