Massa optimistic about Ferrari F2012 but struggle continues

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.

Felipe Massa in the Ferrari F2012 during Sepang qualifying

Mar.24 (F1 Media) Felipe Massa’s early-season woes continued today as the Brazilian was unable to scrape into Q3 in a Ferrari F2012 car he says he is only beginning to understand.

Felipe Massa and his race engineer Rob Smedley

Felipe Massa and his Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley

Struggling for balance, Massa finished the one-hour shoot-out as the 12th-quickest man and will line up on the grid behind the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and the 10th-placed Sauber of Sergio Pérez. “Clearly, I can’t be happy with 12th place,” Massa said afterwards, “but we know that, at the moment, we do not have a very competitive car. Getting through to Q3 is very difficult and today I could only get close to this target.

“Yesterday and today in FP3, I was not satisfied with the balance of the car, but we managed to improve it for qualifying, which leaves me feeling confident for the race and for the future. I think we have begun to get a better understanding of how this F2012 works and that is positive.

“It will be a very hard race, where tyre degradation will make itself felt and there will also be the threat of rain hanging over it. I hope I can get a better result than this twelfth place.”

As for the pressure mounting, the Brazilian was philosophical, “Pressure? It comes from my own will to always do the maximum and when I don’t manage it, I am the first to be unhappy.”