• Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa knows he must progress

ESPN Staff
May 12, 2012 « Stewards investigate Hamilton after he stopped on track | Morning problem slightly slows Grosjean »
Felipe Massa qualified 14 places behind his team-mate Fernando Alonso © Sutton Images
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After another disappointing qualifying session Felipe Massa knows that he must make progress from his 17th place grid slot in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Massa is yet to make it in to Q3 this season, but struggled to get a clean lap in during qualifying at Barcelona and was the slowest car in the second part of qualifying. He insisted that the car was better than his result suggests and said he would have to ensure that he finishes in a higher position than he starts the race.

"I was in traffic with many other cars," Massa said. "I had to change completely my braking positions, braking earlier because there was a car in front, so I lost for sure four tenths of a second because of this. It's a shame because this, looking at how competitive qualifying is, is worth a lot of positions.

"Starting 17th and finishing 17th would be a disaster so we need to try to regain position and do a good strategy to concentrate on a good race tomorrow - that's the plan."

Though Fernando Alonso has put the updated Ferrari third on the grid, Massa said the improvements were small and that the main positive from the day was that he had extra tyres for the race.

"I think our step was as we expected, it was not more than we expected. For Ferrari there was an improvement, definitely in qualifying but how much we saw the car improve was not more or less than what we expected. It's not really a huge step forward, it's a little step.

"I would never stay in the garage not using the tyres to start 17th, but for sure tomorrow the tyres will be very, very important for the race and maybe three of four laps [extra] can make you gain positions. So that's why degradation tomorrow will be very important as well. Using soft tyres, more than one set straight away, it's something that we need to keep in mind to do a good job tomorrow."

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