Chinese GP: Felipe Massa surprised by Ferrari's rivals' pace gains

Felipe Massa admitted that he was surprised at the turn of pace shown by some rivals after qualifying fifth for the Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese GP: Felipe Massa surprised by Ferrari's rivals' pace gains

The Brazilian had topped Friday afternoon practice and was second fastest on Saturday morning.

But he ended up qualifying only fifth, over four tenths of a second off Lewis Hamilton's pole position time.

Asked if he was surprised by the speed of those who had vaulted him, Massa replied: "Yeah, I think so.

"If you look at yesterday, the lap time we did was really good and this morning, I didn't do a great lap time because I had some traffic in the last sector but it was not bad.

"The other cars improved a lot from this morning to qualifying and to Q3 they improved massively.

"A 1m34s from Lewis was a very good time and the lap time from Kimi [Raikkonen] was very good as well.

"They definitely improved a lot and we lost a few positions that we were looking for from yesterday.

"But the strategy in the race is more important than two or three [grid] positions."

Massa added that his Ferrari could have the edge over its rivals in Sunday's Chinese GP in terms of soft tyre degradation.

The Brazilian starts fifth on the grid among a group of seven drivers who all used soft rubber in Q3.

Although this compound is expected to degrade rapidly and force very early pitstops, Massa suspects it might not be as bad for him as for others.

"Even though the soft degradation is high, it was good [in practice] compared to other cars and I hope we have the same tomorrow.

"If we do, the chance to fight with the guys in front is good.

"[Challenging for the podium] is the target for tomorrow and the long runs were good on both tyres."

AUTOSPORT Chinese GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Chinese GP: Saturday press conference
Previous article

Chinese GP: Saturday press conference

Next article

Chinese GP: Daniel Ricciardo wants to exorcise ghosts of Bahrain 2012

Chinese GP: Daniel Ricciardo wants to exorcise ghosts of Bahrain 2012
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022