Felipe Massa believes that he could be in the running for a strong result in China following a successful FP2 session on Friday.
Massa finished the session quickest on the soft tire, but he was also impressive on the longer hard tire runs that could prove key in the race on Sunday.
“Our race pace looks competitive,” Massa said in an interview. “The car is handling well on both types of tire and degradation was not excessive, even if the higher wear rate of the soft compared to the medium compound will be an important factor when it comes to choosing the right strategy. I feel confident and hope that the whole weekend can keep moving in this direction.”
Many drivers struggled to look after their tires during practice, either locking up or dropping off the pace dramatically. However, Massa had the upper hand on both compounds, although he did compare the difference between soft and hard tires as being like two different cars.
“When I fitted the softs, the car improved a lot and this meant I was able to set the fastest time of the day. It was impressive, like driving two completely different cars.
“Tires will play a key role in this Grand Prix because of the high level of degradation over a long run. We will have to ensure we pick the right strategy for Sunday, as well as deciding on which of the new parts we tried this morning to fit to the car.”
Massa is chasing his first race win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, and his current form has seen many pundits end calls for Ferrari to drop him from their line up. If he were to outqualify Fernando Alonso in China, it would be the fifth race in a row where Massa has been the leading Ferrari on the grid.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!