Massa to Be Raikkonen of '08 In 2009??
It is a case of facts and evidence.
Felipe Massa is coming in to the 2009 F1 season with a huge amount of confidence and determination—fact—after coming so close to his championship dream in 2008.
While Massa is awaiting the 2009 season, so, too, is his World Champion teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen performed poorly in 2008—fact—when he was expected to dominate the season. It was his second year at the Maranello-based team, second year on Bridgestone tyres, and second year with his engineers. His poor performance was somehow explained by the Ferrari F2008 tending to understeer, especially on new tyres. This meant Raikkonen qualified poorly, which subsequently ruined his race chances. —Evidence
With the introduction of slicks, Raikkonen is being tipped to bounce back as the cars will oversteer; a trend he enjoys. He is the favourite at the bookies for the title. As Raikkonen is expected to perform well, these 'experts' are tipping Massa to fall to Raikkonen's 2008 level in '09. His 'apparent' hate of oversteer will stop him challenging for the title.
This article is about to explain why these "experts" will once again be proven wrong by the young man from Sao Paulo.
Massa is amazingly quick at high speed tracks, such as Turkey, Bahrain, Spa, Magny Cours...where he has visited the podium at least once. High speed tracks are where the cars tend to slight oversteer; Massa has beaten his oversteer loving teammate at all these tracks—Fact, evidence.
At Bahrain in 2007, Massa was leading Hamilton for the entire first stint, unable to pull a gap. At his first stop, he put on scrubbed tyres (oversteer) and took some wing off. He pulled a 10-second gap out, which is what won the race.—Fact, evidence.
Massa has the intelligence to overcome difficulties. He knows exactly how to set his car up, something Raikkonen seems to struggle with. Fact—How many times did Raikkonen complain of poor setup throughout the season? He has two years more experience in F1, a more experienced race engineer (Chris Dyer, champion winning), and has a salary which he is paid to drive around problems. Everyone seems to think M.Schumacher tells Massa how to drive, but I think he tells him how to set up the car—Evidence.
All in all, these experts, which will remain nameless, must—no, SHOULD—have learnt by now that the Brazilian keeps proving everyone wrong. His engineer Rob Smedley will combine his disappointment of Brazil to Massa's and come out stronger.
I am expecting a stronger Raikkonen, but not a Massa beating one.
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