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Massa looks for crowd's edge in F1 title showdown



Local hero Felipe Massa Felipe Massa (born April 25, 1981) is a Brazilian Formula One racing driver, currently employed by the Ferrari team. He is under contract to race for Ferrari until the end of the 2010 season.  believes home support will power him to victory and world title glory in Sunday's championship showdown here at the Brazilian Grand Prix The Brazilian Grand Prix (Portuguese: Grande Prêmio do Brasil) is a Formula One championship race which occurs at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos, Brazil. .

Ferrari's 27-year-old Brazilian ace said Thursday he was sure the crowd at the Interlagos track would back him and "root against Hamilton" in the 71-lap title decider.

"The crowd does help especially in my favour. I am a local driver, I am Brazilian, so it does help and I am sure people will be rooting against Hamilton," said Massa Massa, in the Bible
Massa (măs`ə), in the Bible, seventh son of Ishmael.
Massa, city, Italy
Massa (mäs`ä), city (1991 pop. 66,737), capital of Massa-Carrara prov.
.

"I have high hopes and I am 100 per cent optimistic op·ti·mist  
n.
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

2. A believer in philosophical optimism.



op
."

Massa said he was not over-concerned at the prospect of overhauling Briton Hamilton's seven-point advantage in his bid to become the first Brazilian champion since the late great Ayrton Senna Ayrton Senna da Silva (pronounced / /, March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994) was a Brazilian three-times Formula One world champion.  in 1991.

"I would much rather arrive here seven points ahead, not behind, but I am very optimistic. I hope to have a good race and I want to win the championship, but the rest of it does not rest on me. All I can say is that the optimism for me is 100 per cent."

Heavy rain has been forecast for the weekend and raised the prospect that Ferrari and Massa will struggle to match Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes in the wet conditions, as often this season.

Massa said: "People say I cannot drive in wet conditions, because in my career in karting karting

Driving and racing miniature, skeleton-frame, rear-engine automobiles called karts or GoKarts. The sport originated in the U.S. in the 1950s after the first kart had been assembled from unwanted lawn-mower parts.
 and in lower categories I always won when it rains and then in F1 I had lots of negative wet races.

"The car influences this a lot and it is not news that our car suffers in the race when it is heavy rain conditions where the tyre Tyre (tīr), ancient city of Phoenicia, S of Sidon. It is the present-day Sur in Lebanon, a small town on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean from the mainland of Syria S of Beirut.  has lower temperatures. When it is a little cold you don't have ideal grip.

"The tyre does not work in a lower temperature and we suffer because our tyre doesn't wear that much. It is the challenge of any designer, but racing with harder tyres we suffer under certain conditions.

"That is a factor, but I never thought I would not be able to drive in the rain. I had some races this year, unfortunately, where I was no good, but in Monaco I was the fastest car in the rain so I don't believe it."

Massa was speaking at a news conference organised by Ferrari suppliers Shell in Sao Paulo ahead of Sunday's race.
Copyright 2008 AFP Global Edition
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Oct 30, 2008
Words:393
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