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'False assumptions' cost Ferrari and Massa dear in Sepang

Ferrari was left with 'a bitter taste in the mouth' at the end of qualifying for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after 'false assumptions' as to the strength of the opposition came back to bite the Scuderia in Sepang – and left Felipe Massa stranded down in 16th position on the starting grid.

Heading out early in Q1 as a precaution in case the approaching thunderstorm clouds turned into rain, after putting in 'banker' laps on the softer Bridgestone rubber, both Massa and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen then returned to their pit box to save their tyres for the remainder of the session, as rivals conversely embarked upon further runs as the track conditions improved and the times consequently tumbled. It would turn out to be a fatal tactical error.

As the seconds ticked down to the end of Q1, both of the scarlet machines were bumped increasingly down the order, and whilst Raikkonen re-took to the circuit and put in a lap good enough for 14th in the final reckoning – narrowly sufficient to see him through to Q2 – Massa did not go out again, and the Brazilian would pay a heavy price. That has left the 2008 world championship runner-up to begin the race from the eighth row...around a track where for the last two years he had taken pole.

“I am very disappointed,” the 27-year-old reflected. “If I had ended up 16th because of a lack of performance, then I could have accepted the result, but like this it hurts even more. The track improved so much with each passing lap, and my first run was not perfect and nor was it enough. We did not react in time and lost the chance to have another go.

“No one person is to blame – we are a team and we lose or win all together. We have to change our approach and tackle qualifying in a different way to the past. There is no room for error and we have to give it our all, right from the first session.

“Nevertheless, I am very motivated. It won't be the first time I will have to tackle a race starting way down the order, and I know I can count on having strong pace. We will have to try and exploit every opportunity to make up places.”

There was disappointment, too, for Raikkonen, who scraped through to both Q2 and Q3 but could ultimately do no better than ninth – seventh following the respective penalties meted out to Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello. The Finn was left lamenting the F60's shortfall in grip compared to its competitors.

“Honestly, the main problem is that, at the moment, we are not quick enough to fight for the top places,” the former Formula 1 World Champion rued. “The car is not lacking in any particular area, but we do not have enough grip to be as quick as those who finished ahead of us today.

“Tomorrow's race will be very tough. We will try to make the most of the start. In Australia, it was very good but there was nowhere to go, whereas here, the straight is long and the track is wide. Furthermore, as we saw yesterday, our pace is competitive.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrrari F60   ING Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix Rd 1 World F1 Championship Albert Park Melbourne  Vic
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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arcuid - Unregistered

April 05, 2009 2:03 PM

Listened to the radio communications between Massa and the team when the race was stopped. He was not a happy camper and his race engineer sounded a little irritated with him. This team needs to pull it together or we will see Kimi going for some more ice cream and Felipe easily ticked off.



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