Felipe Massa insists he is ready to attack in today's Monaco Grand Prix, after a late qualifying surge hoisted him up to third position on the grid - and in the process in some way salvaged what was looking like turning into a disastrous day for Ferrari.

Indeed, the Brazilian's final flying lap proved very nearly enough to displace Lewis Hamilton from the front row of the grid and spoil McLaren's party, and was a welcome fillip for Maranello after the squad had been forced to witness Kimi Raikkonen destroy his chances with an 'off' at the Swimming Pool Chicane during Q2. With Ferrari needing to close the gap on McLaren in the constructors' title chase, Massa knows a strong finish is vital on Sunday.

"I am happy as I did a good lap without traffic and am in a good position for the race," the Brazilian stated. "I am confident and will try for a good result. The race here is very long and it is vital to maintain concentration. If it were to rain, it would make it even more of a lottery.

"It was very complicated in qualifying to choose the right moment to go out on-track, both in terms of traffic and the weather, with the rain threatening to arrive at any moment. I had seen the yellow flags for Kimi and it was a bit of a tricky moment at Rascasse when I found him stopped in front of me on the track, but somehow I managed to get by without damaging my car."

Ferrari team boss Jean Todt was full of praise for Massa's performance, but equally well aware that qualifying was only half the job.

"Felipe did a perfect final lap to take third place," the Frenchman underlined. "Unfortunately, despite his best efforts he was unable to get ahead of our closest rivals. The outcome in the race will be decided by the usual factors - strategy, reliability, the start, teamwork and the efforts of the drivers, as well as the performance of the tyres. There will be a further variable, linked to the weather which can make things even more uncertain."

"Felipe did an extraordinary lap," added track technical officer Luca Baldisserri, "especially in the final sector which helped him secure third place. Clearly, not knowing what fuel loads our main rivals have on-board it is hard to predict what sort of result we can expect, but we think we will be competitive and we will do our utmost to bring home as many points as possible."

 

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