Felipe Massa says he feels that the softer Bridgestone tyres to be used in Monaco will play into Ferrari's hands for the biggest event on the F1 calendar.
The Brazilian secured his best finish of the season to date in the first round of the year on Bahrain, which was run on the same super soft and medium Bridgestone tyres that will used in Monaco this weekend.
With that in mind, Massa said he was hopeful that his own personal performance would improve on the tricky street circuit as he looks to return to the podium for the first time since Australia in late March.
“This weekend, even if there will be no major changes on the F10, I expect we can be more competitive, mainly because Bridgestone is bringing the super soft and medium tyres here and I much prefer using this combination,” he said. “We had the same tyre choices in Bahrain, where I was much happier than at the other races, in terms of the grip levels I found from the tyres. I hope therefore that I will be able to exploit more of my car's potential.
“In general, the grip situation is something we have to look at, as well as finding an overall improvement to the level of aero downforce we have. So let's see if the engineers can find something between the last race and this one, where we will not be using the new blown rear wing [F-duct], because on this slow circuit, you need the downforce more than top speed.”
Like many of his rivals, Massa expressed concern over the prospect of hitting more traffic in qualifying in the principality – with an expanded grid and three new teams - and said teams may need to employ a new strategy during the session to avoid being caught out.
“Getting the car to work as well as possible on Saturday afternoon will be even more important than usual,” he said. “If traffic has always been a problem at this race, with four more cars out on track at the same time this year - and without wishing to be too critical, six rather slow cars out on track - Q1 can become a lottery. No doubt we will use a different strategic approach to qualifying, maybe fuelling the car to do a few more laps than usual, to have a safety margin, so that you are not left without a competitive time in Q1.
“In fact, Sunday's race will also see traffic play its part, because even if strategic choices are different this year with no refuelling, trying to avoid coming out of the pits and finding yourself in slow traffic, could make or break your race. In the end, even if the race engineers will be monitoring the situation closely in the race, you need an element of luck to get it completely right.”