Massa confident of large Saturday gains
23 March 2012 – Having spent Friday's practice sessions evaluating a host of setup configurations, Felipe Massa has been left in a positive frame of mind about his and Ferrari's prospects for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix. Running a different programme to team-mate Fernando Alonso, the Brazilian is sure of making major gains overnight.
"Fernando and I were on rather different programmes from each other and that is the main reason for the difference on the time sheet," Massa commented. "In the afternoon in particular, we went in completely different directions which in my case did not work, but at least it allowed me to understand a few important things about the handling of the car."
Despite the initial handling struggles, Massa is certain that he and his engineers have what it takes to extract more lap time from the F2012 overnight.
"Now my engineers and I know what is the right direction to go in, which makes me feel more optimistic for qualifying compared to how I felt about it in Melbourne," he said. "Clearly, at the moment, our car is not yet competitive at the highest level.
"Do I feel any special pressure? No, no more than usual: at Ferrari we are always under pressure. The important thing is to understand what did not work in Melbourne and I think we have everything in hand to do that."
Massa's best Sepang result is a fifth place on three occasions.