Felipe Massa may have taken a risk to finish qualifying on the harder tire, but the move has paid off for the Brazilian driver who will start 4th for the Bahrain Grand Prix tomorrow.
“I think maybe the preferred tire is the hard, that’s why people are saving the hard,” Massa explained to Adam Cooper. “I start on the hard, it can be that I gain positions on the first stint because of that, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Massa also explained the reason behind his gamble, with the softer compound being the quicker tire.
“The race is definitely long. I was not very happy with the medium as well, struggling a bit on the balance to find the right grip, so that’s why I took this gamble. I think when you start from the fourth position on the hard tires, it’s not a bad thing to do.”
The 2008 world championship runner-up was pleased to have qualified so strongly on the hard tire, which is unusual.
“For sure you are more confident because you start in a good position on the hard tires, so we need to wait and see if it works or not tomorrow. It can be that it works, so let’s be optimistic and concentrate on the race.”
Massa will be looking to challenge for his first win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix in Bahrain, and a good start will be crucial to making this alternative strategy work.
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British youngster Dan Ticktum took a dramatic victory in the 64th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after the leading two cars crashed out at the final corner on the last lap of the race.
In an incident-packed race that saw front-row starters Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilott clash early on amid a litany of Full Course Yellows, Brazilian racer Sergio Sette Camara was able to move into the lead ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Maximilian Günther.
Günther’s pace dropped off in the closing stages as he struggled to keep his tires alive, causing a train of cars to form up behind him including McLaren youngster Lando Norris and the Red Bull-backed Ticktum.
Ticktum pulled off a brilliant double-pass on Norris and Günther around the outside of Lisboa to move up to third, with Sette Camara and Habsburg dueling for position right the way to the finish.
Habsburg attempted a brave pass around the outside of the Mandarin kink, but was forced to wait until the penultimate straight before he got a tow and was able to pass for the lead.
Drama then struck when both Habsburg and Sette Camara ran wide and crashed into the wall exiting the final fast right-hander by their own accord, paving the way for Ticktum to charge through to victory.
Norris and Ralf Aron benefited from the crashes to score second and third place respectively, while Habsburg was able to get to the checkered flag in fourth on three wheels.