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Massa hoping Ferrari can challenge.


Felipe Massa refuses to believe that Ferrari is beaten in the Hungarian Grand Prix, despite being kept off the front row of the grid by the McLarens of polewinner Lewis Hamilton and sidekick Heikki Kovalainen.

Massa qualified third fastest, having usurped Timo Glock and Robert Kubica with his second flying lap on Saturday, but is clinging to the fact that he topped the middle phase of qualifying with a lap under former team-mate Michael Schumacher's lap record as proof that the Scuderia might still have a surprise for the boys from Woking.

The Brazilian also suggested that he may not have got the best from his car in the crucial third and final session, claiming that his timing was not great.

"I was not 100 per cent happy with my laps in Q3," he sighed, "I went a little bit at the wrong time and there were so many cars around. Most of the people were very, very slow on their out lap and that, for sure, [was hard] especially as I like to go slightly quicker, but I cannot pass them. That's really tricky for the preparations of the tyres and I couldn't prepare the tyres like I am supposed to - and couldn't do a great lap like I did in Q1 and Q2.

"Q2 was a great lap. I was just able to get the best out of the car, which just had great balance. Unfortunately, it doesn't count for much, [but] I'm still confident. For sure, I'm going to do my best tomorrow to gain some positions.

"You always want to be in front. It's not a fantastic day when you are behind your competition, but I'm sure the mentality of my team is to push hard day-by-day from now until the end of the season. We were already pushing up to now but for sure people are really motivated to push even more. I think we showed some good performance today - if you don't have a good car, you cannot do 19.0s in Q2. That's a good sign."

Two poor races for Ferrari have seen Hamilton slip back into the lead of the championship, now with a four-point cushion over Massa, who he caught and passed on his way to the win at Hockenheim. Despite that, and being beaten by both McLarens in qualifying, however, Massa remains optimistic.

"I think we are pretty strong," he insisted, "We didn't seem to be pretty strong until this morning but, then, looking at the lap times from Q1 and Q2, I think we are there. For sure, we are not where we were, especially in the race in Hockenheim - and Silverstone was a big lottery - but I think we are there and I think I can push these guys tomorrow.

Ferrari introduced its own take on the 'sharkfin', the aerodynamic attachment fitted to the top of the engine cover, at the Hungaroring, but Massa played down its significance as a 'major' development on the F2008.

"Sometimes, what you see is not really the reality," he said, "Sometimes, you put a big piece in the car and it is very visible, but maybe, sometimes, you put a small piece and it makes more downforce and makes the car more efficient. It doesn't mean because it is very visible that it is a big modification.

"It is a little bit better, but it is not like if I put this on or off that I am going to improve by half-a-second. It doesn't work like that but, for sure, we are developing. We are pushing very hard and, for sure, we will push even harder from this race to the end of the season."


Related Pictures

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Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 2008
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