Felipe Massa has set his sights on getting on the podium and trying to beat the McLaren's of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, after qualifying a highly encouraging third for Sunday's 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix.
Massa has had a difficult season, but his pace today will give him a real boost and after setting the fourth best time in final practice, he maintained that momentum in Q1, Q2 and Q3, eventually securing a place on the second row, just two tenths off the pole time.
It was his best qualifying result of the season and also the first time this year he has secured a better grid slot than his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, although admittedly the Spaniard was of course compromised in the top-ten shootout due to a problem with the rear anti-roll bar, which means he will start tenth [see separate story - HERE
“I am very happy with this qualifying, the best in a long time for me,” Massa said. “This is a very important race for Ferrari and I will do my best to get a good result.
“I feel sorry for Fernando [after he had a technical problem], as he had been very strong all weekend: we both have a good car though, and I'm sure that tomorrow we will be able to bring home a good points' haul for the championship.
“We have a chance of beating McLaren, even if they are very strong. For me, getting back on the podium, here in front of our fans, would be wonderful! It's my second home race and racing here is always a fantastic feeling.
“We tried to make as much use as possible of the slipstream, which requires a lot of concentration, but it's true that in the end, I got my best time when I had no one in front of me.”