Felipe Massa buoyed by Ferrari's Silverstone gains
|By Simon Strang and Jonathan Noble||Sunday, July 10th 2011, 08:32 GMT|
Felipe Massa believes Ferrari has made a genuine step forward in form with its update package at the British Grand Prix - as it targets its first win of the season.
The Brazilian and his team-mate Fernando Alonso will start on the second row at Silverstone and, although it is not Ferrari's best qualifying result of the season, the team is encouraged because it has got so close to pacesetter Red Bull Racing.
Massa says developments introduced at Silverstone have brought the downforce improvements hoped for – and he thinks that could pay dividends when it comes to helping the team use the harder Pirelli tyre.
"I think it is because of the new pieces we brought to this race," he said. "It's the only place that we were competitive on the hard tyres, and I think that means we brought new parts that give more downforce to the car.
"With these new diffuser regulations we lose downforce, and they don't help the car to be any stronger on the hard tyres. But with the new pieces you get more downforce and I think that was the key that made our car more competitive.
"I hope we can have a car that works both sides and this helps a lot for the strategy and everything."
Massa also said that not too much should be read into the six tenths of a second gap between himself and team-mate Alonso.
"I think we were very good over the weekend and I had a very bad lap in the Q3 with the first set of tyres," he said.
"I was supposed to improve a lot from the second set of tyres and I was improving already on the second set of tyres when it rained.
"I was sure I was going to be in the fight with them and then it rained in the second sector and it was too difficult to carry on. But anyway I was happy with the car."