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Massa: I could have been ahead of Alonso...
29 May 2011
Felipe Massa reckons he could have qualified a bit better for today's F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Brazilian will start from sixth place on the grid, but revealed that an error at Rascasse probably cost him one or two spots and the chance to be ahead of both Michael Schumacher – and possibly even his Ferrari team-mate, Fernando Alonso.
“A mixture of satisfaction and regret for me after this qualifying,” said Massa. “Along with the team, we managed to improve the handling of the car compared to free practice, reducing the oversteer, but a mistake at Rascasse in Q3 cost me one or two places. A shame, as I was on a good lap.”
Despite that though, Massa is looking forward to the race and reckons the start will be the key to a good result.
“Starting sixth is not brilliant at Monaco but here you need to use your head in the race: we will have to concentrate throughout as anything can happen,” he added.
“The start will be very important, but so too will be staying calm and cool-headed, lap after lap, because any mistake can cost you dear.
“Tyre degradation is less than we have seen before, so I don't think there will be so many pit stops.”
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali and chassis director Pat Fry meanwhile echoed those thoughts.
“Tomorrow's race will very long and full of traps: we must try and make the most of any opportunity,” Domenicali said. “The start will play a crucial role, but above all it will be vital not to make any mistakes. Who makes the least mistakes will emerge as the winner.”
“From what we saw in Thursday's free practice, our race pace is not too bad, so we should be in with a chance,” Fry added. “Strategy will be very important: tyre degradation is not very high, therefore I don't think we will see as many pit stops as we had in the last two races.
“We will have to do a good job of managing any unpredictable scenarios, to try and make up some places.”
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