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.
MORE: Watch the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup