Felipe Massa expected more from qualifying

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Felipe Massa has revealed his disappointment with his qualifying performance, having expected to qualify higher than 6th.

“For sure I expected a little bit more,” Massa said in an interview with Adam Cooper. “I definitely expected to be fighting for the top three, looking that I was first this morning, the car was good this morning.”

This morning, Massa finished quickest in final practice but he could not repeat this form in qualifying. Having just made it through to Q3 on a single run, the Brazilian driver struggled in the last session. He does believe that the other cars were holding back during final practice, hence why he could not match their pace.

“The others improved a lot, so I’m sure they were a little bit too conservative this morning, and they were preparing everything for the qualifying.”

Massa was unsurprised by Mercedes’ good pace, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locking out the front row for the German marque.

“I knew Mercedes would have been strong here, because they were very strong in the winter. It’s a track they can be very strong in the qualifying, but in the race, I don’t know – maybe a bit less.”

Ferrari will be disappointed to have finished so far behind Mercedes, but if they can perfect their race strategy, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could yet finish on the podium in Barcelona tomorrow.

Following a grid penalty, Massa will start the Spanish Grand Prix from 9th.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”