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Rediff.com  » Sports » Massa, Button vie for four wins in a row

Massa, Button vie for four wins in a row

June 03, 2009 16:24 IST

Ferrari's Felipe Massa can chalk up his fourth win in a row in Turkey this weekend and stop Formula One leader Jenson Button doing the same.

Brazilian Massa has won the last three Turkish Grand Prix from pole position, a run of such dominance that he jokingly suggested last year that he should maybe take up Turkish citizenship.

Brawn GP's Button is on a more immediate roll, having won five of six races so far this season and the last three in succession.

With a mere eight points to his credit compared to the championship leading Briton's 51, Massa is more focussed than ever on winning individual races now that he has given up fighting for the title.

Istanbul, an anti-clockwise circuit just like the Brazilian's home Interlagos track where he has won for the last two years, could be Massa's big chance now that Ferrari are back up to speed after a woeful start to the season.

"It's nice to be able to have something really positive to say for the first time this season," said Massa on his website (www.felipemassa.com ) after finishing fourth in Monaco and setting the fastest lap.

"Given where we were at the start of the season, there is now a good reason to be optimistic for the next few races.

"I have a very good record in Istanbul," he continued. "It would be nice to carry on in the same direction.

NUMBER ONE

"The last few years, I haven't had to give much thought to the overtaking possibilities in Istanbul starting from the number one slot on the grid," Massa said.

"This year, given how competitive the front of the field is in qualifying, it's going to be a very interesting Saturday afternoon.

"But at least the track does provide some passing opportunities, especially with the long main straight."

Button's best finish at Istanbul Park, a fast-flowing circuit on the Asian side some 90km from the city, was fourth in 2006 but he will again be a favourite.

Brawn will have a new front wing as well as other aerodynamic and rear suspension updates.

BMW-Sauber, who have been struggling in what was supposed to have been a title-challenging year for them, will have a similar double-decker rear diffuser to the one that Brawn have used so effectively.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to be more competitive than he was in Monaco, where he crashed in qualifying and was lapped in the race.

However, it is Red Bull, with China race winner Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber, who could prove Brawn's biggest threat.

"This is an important race in the championship and our target is to challenge the Brawns who have had a remarkable run so far," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said.

"It was also clear at the last two races that Ferrari have made a significant step forward and I think we can expect them to play a key role this weekend.

"It (Turkey) should be better suited to the strengths of our car," the Briton added.

Vettel, the only one of Button's rivals to have won this season, was quickest in both sessions when the then 19-year-old became the youngest driver to take part in an official practice session with BMW in Turkey two years ago.

Source:
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