Felipe Massa has admitted that, while he was happy to have beaten BMW Sauber to the second row of the grid at Indianapolis, he and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had no answer to McLaren in the battle for pole.

After having to also give best to Nick Heidfeld in Q1, the Ferraris moved into third and fourth in Q2, before Massa swapped places with Raikkonen to annex the inside of row two for Sunday's seventh world championship round. However, despite being closer to Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on pace than they were in Canada, Massa insisted that the 'improvement' was not enough.

"For sure, we are a bit closer but not enough - we need to be in front, not be closer," the Brazilian stressed, "Yes, the situation is a little bit better than in Canada, which was a pretty difficult weekend for us, and starting third, second row, is not a disaster. But we know that McLaren is going to be strong in the race, as they were in every session, so we need to work hard. We need to fight until the end and that's what I'm going to do tomorrow.

When asked, Massa refused to disclose exactly where he thought the difference between the top two teams lay, but repeated that any improvement needed to be made before it was too late.

"It's not something which we really want to say," he confirmed "It's something we need to understand and try to do better in our car. We should be in front of them. We have some ideas in the car, in the aerodynamics, in the engine just to improve the situation, but we need to do it as quick as possible.

"When we are behind, we are never 100 per cent satisfied. We never give up but McLaren, in the last three races, have made a step forward. We have had some trouble in these races, but we have the team, the group and the car to improve, so hopefully we can have a fantastic race tomorrow. However, it is time to improve the car as quickly as possible to have a good fight with McLaren in the next races."

Asked how optimistic he was feeling about the USGP, Massa's resolve showed the odd crack.

"I don't know," he admitted, "We thought we had the strategy to compete in Canada, but the strategy was completely the other way around. Tomorrow, we will see. Hopefully, we can have a good strategy for whatever kind of race.

"We expected to be better than at Canada, which we are, but I don't know if it is enough to win the race tomorrow. I believe we need to fight but be thinking for the next race already. We have two weekends, two weeks to work on the car, and it will be very good to bring our best to the next race."

 

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