Felipe Massa hopes Williams can capitalise on its strong qualifying performance in the Italian Grand Prix to aid its "big fight" with Ferrari.

Ferrari leads Williams by just 10 points in the battle for third in the constructors' championship, and will start with Valtteri Bottas in third place and Massa fourth behind the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Starting side-by-side, Massa says he and Bottas are aware how important finishing third is to the team.

"It feels like a big fight, definitely," Massa said. "It feels like it's a big fight between us and Ferrari. Red Bull is a little bit more in front so it will not be easy to be in front of Red Bull. It's a big fight with Ferrari, this is clear. We also know how important it is for a team like Williams; we're growing. We need to get better and better to prepare next year as well, so we understand how important one position is for the budget. It's very important so we will try everything we can."

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And Massa believes the signs are good for Williams to capitalise on its strong grid positions at Monza.

"We missed a little bit to be third but anyway it was a good session for us. Third and fourth, just behind the Mercedes I think is positive so I think definitely it's important for us. As far forward as we can start is always better for the race anyway, so I hope tomorrow we can have a good pace, a good race - we showed good pace yesterday in the long run as well - so I hope this can work well also with the positions we're starting."

However, Massa believes Mercedes is likely to be too quick to allow Williams to challenge for victory on Sunday.

"I think they are very strong. Maybe we are a little bit closer on this track... I don't know. Maybe we need to wait and see tomorrow. They didn't do a proper long run yesterday so we don't know how they are really. We did a very good long run but we need to wait and see how it is going to be tomorrow."

Admitting that he is aware of the potential dynamic between Rosberg and Hamilton at Turn 1, Massa says he will still be looking to attack if given the chance at the start.

"You need to understand that here Turn 1 is very tricky. So if you are just losing space maybe people behind can try something on you. So I don't know, you need to try to do everything correct which you don't know if it will be correct or not but you need to try and do everything to pass at corner one. We know how important it is to pass at corners one and two here."