Felipe Massa says he is keen to 'fight at a higher level' after scoring his third points finish of the F1 season in Shanghai.
The Brazilian qualified and finished sixth, beating Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso for the second successive race with the Shanghai event seeing Massa beat the double champion on pace.
While he believes that there is still work to do for Ferrari to challenge at the front, Massa said he was pleased with the Chinese result and was hopeful of now challenging at higher level in the coming races.
“I had a very good race on Sunday, running strongly and getting involved in a lot of fights,” he said. “The result should have been a bit better than my eventual sixth place, but I was very happy with how it went and I hope I can continue to fight at a higher level for the coming races.
“For sure, we need to qualify better so we can start further forward on the grid which helps in the race, even with the talk of grid position being less important this year. In China actually my grid position, sixth, was not too bad and then I gained one place immediately after the start which moved me up to fifth. Most importantly though, if you look at the pace of the car, it was good enough to allow us to fight with the leaders.
“That meant I had a very interesting race, being able to make up several places because effectively, the car we had in the race was completely different to the one we had the day before in qualifying. It definitely worked well, because I even led the race for a short while at one point and I held a genuine second place for quite some time.”
Massa was quick to add however that teams were currently faced with a quandary over how to approach races thanks to the new regulations, which have mixed up the action with the introduction of the new Pirelli tyres, the Drag Reduction System and KERS.
“After three Grands Prix it is still too early to say what is the best way to work with all these new rules, because in China at the weekend, you saw many different combinations of strategies and tyre useage and many of them seemed to work well,” he said. “Nothing is one hundred percent clear yet and at Ferrari, we have to work out what is best for our car. It is possible that we could see very different strategies in the next few races, depending on the characteristics of the circuits.”