Felipe Massa optimistic after risky qualifying strategy
Felipe Massa is remaining optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix, after the Brazilian ace opted for a “risky” qualifying strategy which included the use of Pirelli’s hard tyre compound in Q3. This saw Felipe Massa become the only driver to set his timed lap on the harder rubber, which could play to his advantage during the race.
During the all-important top ten shootout for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Felipe Massa raised many eyebrows within the paddock by becoming the only driver to opt for an alternative and risky strategy by deciding to use Pirelli’s hard tyre compound. However, the gamble paid off and the Brazilian driver qualified 6th for the race. Once Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber have received their separate penalties, Felipe Massa will start tomorrow’s race in 4th position alongside team-mate Fernando Alonso.
With Felipe Massa set to start the race on the hard tyre, the Brazilian could well go longer on his first stint than the driers around him on the grid. Last time out at the Chinese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg opted for a similar strategy, which enabled all three of the drivers to lead the race at some point. Ferrari have already been tipped as favorites for race victory this weekend, especially with the Scuderia’s competitive long-run pace.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of this qualifying, because in the end, the decision to take a risk in Q3, going in a different direction to the one we had originally planned, turned out to be the best one.” Enthused Felipe Massa, who has enjoyed a competitive start to the new season. “The penalties for two of the drivers ahead of me – Webber and Hamilton – mean I now move up the grid to fourth place, a point from where I can race with the leaders. Starting on the medium will definitely be an advantage, but to have a good race it will be vital to find the best strategy and ensure everything runs perfectly.”
Felipe Massa has historically enjoyed much success around the Bahrain International Circuit, with the 31-year-old taking two races victories in 2007 and 2008. Although a third victory in tomorrow’s race is a tall order for Felipe Massa, a podium finish is certainly a possibility in what will be Felipe Massa’s 176th career start.
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