Massa hopes Ferrari power advantage will count at Monza

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Felipe Massa is hoping Ferrari’s engine will give it an advantage at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“It’s the circuit with the lowest aerodynamic downforce of the year and the one where you see the highest top speed,” Massa explains.

“You need a very precise car and you can’t lose too much downforce, as you need that to deal with the slow corners. Therefore you need the car to be very well balanced.”

“The engine counts for a lot here too and so I hope ours will give us a bit of an advantage here, compared to other tracks, where the difference between the various engines is smaller.”

However Massa said the key to a fast qualifying lap at Monza isn’t going quickly – it’s stopping quickly:

“Braking counts for a lot, while you also need to get your lines just right and have good traction, because if you lose a little time at one corner, because you braked too late or didn’t come out of the turn on the correct line, then you can lose a lot of time down the long straight that follows. Getting it just right is not easy.”

This year will be the last race with the current V8 engines which are being replaced with V6 turbos next year. It remains to be seen whether next year’s cars will be as fast.

“Top speeds have actually come down a bit with the changes to the regulations, but you don’t feel the difference very much,” said Massa. “I remember how fast we used to go when we had the V10 engine, but the feeling you have, if you are doing 360kph [223mph] or 340kph [211mph] is not much different.”

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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