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Ferrari didn`t `go silly` with Massa strategy.

Ferrari is adamant that Felipe Massa did not run ridiculously light in qualifying in order to guarantee pole position for the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix this weekend – despite the Brazilian's searing margin of dominance at the end of the session.

The 27-year-old – who trails Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton by just a single point entering the final four races of the 2008 campaign, as the pair battle it out tooth-and-nail for the drivers' crown – had looked to be on the back foot compared to his McLaren-Mercedes rival throughout both practice and Q1 around the all-new Marina Bay Street Circuit.

A scintillating final effort in Q3, however, proved enough to blow all of his competitors out of the water as Massa stormed to the top spot with almost seven tenths of a second to spare.

Though the São Paulista subsequently admitted he could 'maybe have run with slightly more fuel' [see separate story – click here], his engineer Rob Smedley suggested the gap was the result of both a perfect lap from his driver and Hamilton's inability to do likewise – rather than a ploy to seize pole around a track that is expected to offer precious few overtaking opportunities on race day.

“We hope we have done the right thing with the strategy,” Smedley told ITV. “We think we have. We haven't gone silly to try and get the pole position – he has just put it all together.”

Whilst remaining confident in his own strategy, Hamilton fears that he could be in for a repeat of the European Grand Prix in Valencia last month – a race in which Massa was always just one step out of reach.

“It's unlikely to be able to overtake,” the 23-year-old confessed, “so we might see another Valencia.”


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Grumpy_Doctor - Unregistered

September 28, 2008 3:41 PM

Ferrari 'haven't gone silly' with Massa strategy - they've gone INSANE. (Team FIA will need to steal more points off McLaren to win now). Massa only got a drive-thru, whilst the others got a stop & go. What a surprise!!! Either way, we all had a good laugh when both Kimi and Massa binned it out of boredom. To be fair to Kimi, he did say he likes to sleep in on a morning! Massa'd dad looked like he needs a stiff drink. Good to see Alonso up the top and Nico too. Roll on 2009



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