Felipe Massa admits he will head into the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend with his confidence boosted by his solid performance in Monaco.
The Ferrari driver clinched sixth place in the principality in what was easily his best race of the season, with the Brazilian having previously failed to finish higher than ninth in the opening five races of the year.
With continued speculation about his future, Massa will hope for another strong performance in Montreal this weekend and he said his confidence was on a high even if he felt he should have been fighting for a podium in Monte Carlo.
“Monaco was a good race weekend for me, as I was competitive right from the start of free practice,” he said. “Throughout the weekend, I was able to be consistent, in practice, qualifying and the race and the car felt comfortable for me to drive. I really liked the car there and it was working in the right direction to suit my style and I hope this positive trend can continue, starting with the race in Canada and then through to the end of the championship.
“I definitely feel more confident now. I feel stronger as well and it's also true that if Monaco was a good race, I was not that happy because, after the work I had done right from first practice, I had expected to be fighting for a podium finish. We had a chance of doing that, we had a good enough pace, but a better qualifying performance would have improved our chances on Sunday. It was very good compared to the start of the season, but we cannot be satisfied and now I want us to work hard to get something more. If we find the right direction, I know what I can do.”
Massa added that there were a number of reasons why he was able to run strongly in Monaco and that he was keen to now take the lessons learned into the upcoming events on the schedule.
“The set-up required for Monaco is very different to that at other tracks and, even if the street circuit is unique, we can at least follow the direction we took there and make it work at other tracks,” he explained. “It might not be a normal situation, but maybe it is the best direction to go in to make the F2012 work for me. It's true that there are fewer places that exert high lateral forces on the car at Monaco and dealing with those forces was a weak point with our car. We have even tried this approach in the simulator, but sometimes, it's not easy to get a clear answer there, which is why we keep experimenting at the race tracks.
“We continue our plan of constantly improving the F2012, because even the slightest performance gain can mean more places on the grid or in the race and we will have some updates this weekend. It will make for a very busy Friday, as we combine race preparation with evaluating our new elements. Hopefully the car will be even stronger than in Monaco and I can continue to bring home points to help the team.”