Felipe Massa has said the 'perfect lap' in Q3 is what gave him fifth on the grid for his home race.
The Brazilian, who was tenth in final practice this morning at Interlagos, only just made it through to the top-ten shoot-out, but he then got the maximum out of his Ferrari F2012 to qualify 0.227 seconds off Sebastian Vettel, who will start fourth, and 0.266 seconds up on team-mate, Fernando Alonso, who ended up down in eighth.
“It was a good qualifying: in Q3 I did a perfect lap, the most I could do with what I had,” Massa said ahead of Sunday's final round in the 2012 F1 World Championship. “McLaren and Red Bull are quicker than us, but I am very pleased with the balance of my car.
“Now we must stay focused on the race, which will be anything but easy. Rain is expected and so anything can happen. In these conditions, just making it to the finish will be an achievement.
“Am I surprised at my position? Maybe some people might think I've just learned to drive at the age of thirty one, but joking apart, this is a result of the fact that from the mid-season onwards I have found myself ever more comfortable with the car and I have confidence in it to push hard.
“My approach to this race now will be very simple: I will try to do my utmost for my home crowd and for Ferrari. I have a great car, even if it's not the quickest in qualifying, but it is competitive in the race.”
Ferrari technical director Pat Fry meanwhile maintained it was never likely they were going to be able to challenge for a spot on either the front or second row.
“We can't suddenly expect to find ourselves ahead of Red Bull and McLaren, who have been consistently quicker than us this year in qualifying. We knew we would have to fight for the third row and we managed to get at least one car there thanks to a nice Q3 from Felipe,” Fry continued.
“All the forecasts are predicting rain in the coming hours and there's a high chance of having a wet race. We will therefore have to be ready to manage a race that looks like being incident packed, as is the tradition in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
"Yesterday, over a long run we proved to be competitive, from what one can tell on a Friday, but the conditions will be very different, so it's impossible to make predictions.”