Felipe Massa has blamed his strategy for his failure to secure pole position today for Sunday's F1 2010 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Massa, who was actually quickest in Q1, ended up third in the top-ten shoot-out, his best lap a 1 minute 22.293s, which left him around two tenths off Jenson Button in second and three tenths off his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, who secured P1.

"Today I could have taken pole," Massa said, "but maybe in Q3, we did not adopt the best strategy. In Q2, my time on the soft tyres came on the third lap, so for the next part, we opted to do a series of three laps, but things did not go as we had wanted. Then on my second run, I did not manage to improve enough to take pole.

"All the same, it was a good qualifying and I am pleased with the performance of the car, which improved yet again today. We changed various things compared to yesterday morning which saw us become more competitive.

"I have never been very lucky at Monza, but tomorrow I will be starting from a good grid position. It is very motivating, especially when you see how happy are our fans, and it gives you a little bit extra. It would be nice to reward them for it."

Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali meanwhile was delighted with the 1-3 result as his men will now go into the final European race of the year well placed to take a good haul of points, something that is essential if the Scuderia is to remain in contention for the 'big' prizes.

"A really great and important result," Domenicali added. "Fernando and Felipe did a fantastic job and the team delivered them a very competitive car. It's nice to have that feeling again which comes from having a car on pole, after such a long time, but we must not forget that what really counts is the race, because that is when the points are given out.

"Therefore we must all remain totally focussed on preparing for tomorrow's race, bearing in mind how tough the Monza circuit can be in terms of reliability, which is still the crucial element in all races.

"It is very pleasing that this long-awaited pole has come at Monza and on a day when our President Luca di Montezemolo and his opposite number at Fiat, John Elkann were both here to witness it. Tomorrow we hope to be able to give them and all our fans something special," Domenicali vowed.

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