Despite being comprehensively beaten by McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in Monaco at the weekend, Felipe Massa says he is confident that Ferrari will be a contender for victory in both the Canadian and US grands prix.

Speaking moments after he crossed the line as the last unlapped runner in Monaco, Massa admitted that the Scuderia had simply been 'inferior' to McLaren on the day, but insisted that the result was probably as much to so with a combination of the F2007 and the tight Monaco track as anything else. The current breed of Ferrari F1 machine has the longest wheelbase on the grid, and experts used this as a possible reason for both Massa and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen being unable to match McLaren throughout the weekend.

Massa, meanwhile, refused to be drawn on specifics, but insisted that he expected Ferrari to bounce back at the next two rounds.

"McLaren definitely showed incredible pace today," he confessed. "I think that, even if I pushed 150 per cent on the limit, it would have been the same in the end. They were pretty quick today, and there was nothing I could do with them. I could only expect some mistakes or something like that, or maybe a retirement. I was just thinking of finishing third, trying to score as many points as possible.

"I think it is difficult to say exactly what the difference was. Hopefully, it is something related just to this track which we don't know. For sure, we are quite happy with our car, it is competitive, but for this track it is not. Even if you look at Renault, we were not so much quicker this time - usually, on other tracks, they are much slower than us.

"We need to go to another track and try to understand the problem so it doesn't happen on a slow track, or something like that. Even in the last sector at Barcelona, we were slow and yet we were the quickest. At the end of the day, it is difficult to explain.

"Last year, Renault and McLaren were very quick here and also in Canada and, in Indy, we were very strong, especially Indy. This time we are confident in our package for Canada and Indy so, hopefully, we can have a great car there and try the best to be in the front."

McLaren's 1-2 pushed both Alonso and Hamilton - now joint leaders - further in front of Massa, but the Brazilian remained unfazed.

"I think, looking at the pace [of the McLarens], third place was a great result - both starting third and finishing third," he claimed, "Today, it was amazing to see what these guys were doing and, after a while when I saw the difference, the gap, I just started to think about my car, the engine and everything for the next race. I was just having an intelligent race and thinking of the championship. It is very long and [a gap of] five points means everything is still open. The package for this race made it impossible to catch [McLaren], so let us go to the next races, where I am sure our car will be more competitive, and let's make a fantastic race there."

 

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